Sitting Shivah

Killing Argo (the character) is the hardest thing as a writer I’ve ever had to do. As I told her directly, “sometimes I have to take off my glasses and wipe my eyes, because I can’t write to anyone the way I write to you. I can’t write ABOUT anyone the way I write about you.” She changed me for the better- I’ve been changed for good. YES, WE ARE DOING SHOW TUNES NOW.

I hope that in killing her character, I can somehow, some way get out of the loop where I react on paper. I wanted a life in which she could SEE ME, because my words on a page do some of that, but the disconnect between the Internet me and the regular me is STARK, let’s just say that. I would rather go to her and tell her my thoughts in person than ever have a moment where she worries that I do not take her words on a page as seriously as I do my own. If that does not happen, I know for sure that the message will get passed along just because of the medium. I love Marshall McLuhan, because I needed him today. The medium is the message, but what am I going to DO WITH IT?

I want to start with the axiom that I did not come here *for* Argo, but to do the great things in her name that I have been saying I was GOING to do for ages, but haven’t actually done jack shit. I am turning inward by moving to a location where I know no one, because you don’t get to see Jesus. Have some wine. I am not saying that I AM Jesus, only that because of our personality type, we both need the same isolation in order to prepare. In a way, I have already started. In fact, the people I talked to knew a lot about how to get started, and I wish I had recorded the conversation so I can go back and listen to it again. One of the young girls at the table had a lime green cast on her arm because she’d been hit by a car. It made me think deeply about indigence and how to change it, because a broken arm is not a cheap fix, and every time I see someone like Stephanie who has just been roughed up by life one day after another, it is hard for me to deal.

I don’t give money, but thoughts run through my head like, “she doesn’t have a coat. She sleeps outside, and SHE DOESN’T HAVE A COAT.” Do you know how hard it was not to take off my own even though if I had, I wouldn’t have a coat, either? I am crying as I write this because the experience was so jarring. There is just this inane perception that homeless people want to be homeless so they don’t have to get a job, etc. From what I saw, that is LITERALLY crack-smoking foolishness. Why would anyone want to sleep outside from April to November? As I said in my Facebook status update, it’s only 55 degrees, and it is almost noon. Can you imagine how the temperature drops when the sun goes down?

It pains me so much that I almost gave up the one coat I brought to Silver Spring because I knew that it would save someone I came to adore in a very short time from lying down on the ground without anything rated for 32 degrees.

Because you know what? At the end of the day, I can buy another one. What does she do?

I am going to find out.


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