Kage Baker never gave up on me. No matter what I did, or (more likely) failed to do, she was a true and supportive companion. And with the amount of disaster and sheer asininity that has followed me around, that is virtue on a scale impossible to describe in mere English.
I think maybe sisters are not allowed to actually give up on you, anyway. But they don’t have to like it, or do more than the minimum of saving your sorry ass. Kage and Kimberly have borne the brunt of the accidents that comprise my life, and they have both continued to offer even more help that I’ve needed. Home may indeed be the place where – when you have to go there – they have to take you in: but that doesn’t mean they have to still be speaking to you when they open the door. My sisters do and are, and always have.
Our quadrennial national psychosis is over now, and things are settling down somewhat. However, an extraordinary degree of personal animosity has remained, like some pollutant that refuses to dissolve in the peaceful waters of normal social discourse – it’s still out there, slipping through the domestic medium like ribbons of jellied acid: you’re swimming along contentedly, maybe searching for a nice recipe for soon-to-be turkey hash, and ZING! Something cold and slimy burns you to the bone; and it turns out to be someone unhappy with the election returns and unable to behave politely about it.
With the approach of the Year-End Holidays, I’ve found myself blocking or unfriending more people than in the past 6 years. Not that I have a huge gallery of friends online – I am both busy and lazy about maintaining social media. But I’ve actually had to cut a few semi-acquaintances right off at knee (as it were) because they seem to have developed uncontrollable rage disease. I can’t be having with that sort of thing.
Maybe it’s some form of the coming Zombie apocalypse? A form where people eat their own brains first, and then go hunting for the neighbors’? Man, there are some really vicious folks floating around out there in the aether, and I’d take oath that some of them weren’t like that two weeks ago. Hate rays from space? Brain worms? Pod people? I tell you, Dear Readers, if they are Pod People, those pods have been cross-breeding with Ghost Peppers; the result is Pod People with bulging eyes, foaming mouths and really bad tempers …
I miss the generous forgiveness of Kage Baker. When she thought you were wrong, she’d tell you so – but then she’d let the subject be. She’d give you a hand up and out of whatever puddle of stupidity you’d just fallen into; she’d help you write the “I’m sorry” notes, and lend you money for bail and a brand new ceramic chicken for that lady down the street … and she wouldn’t scream at you.
I’m so tired of being screamed at. Total strangers, friends of friends of friends, are consigning me to multiple hells this week. It’s just too much to take. I am going to concentrate on being grateful for the nice, quiet, polite, friendly folks that there really are so many more of in the world – the noisy aberrations can go gnaw on their own bones instead of mine.
So let’s do it all together, Dear Readers! Quiet comfort, peaceful smiles, fond indulgence of the little eccentricities that tempt us to brain our kith and kin – let’s be nice for awhile. Even if we’re right, damn it, and all those other people we love are just being stubbornly, deliberately, infuriatingly WRONG!!!
Let’s remember instead that they are the people we love. Postpone judgement for a few weeks. Pretend there is no naughty list, and use all that stockpiled coal we bought to throw at sinners to make a nice warm fire on the hearth instead.
Let’s be grateful. Let’s be loving. Let’s at least be quiet, and give the impression that we are as good as our relatives think we are. I know I could do a lot worse than trying to be what Kage Baker thought I was.
So I’ll try.