5:31am, part 15

“Yes, ma’am!” Zeke said, saluting Mrs. B after squirting more soap into the sudsy dish pile. Everything was humming like clockwork on that magical Sunday afternoon. Tommy tried to hide his happiness from the group. Lamarr was keeping herself occupied with a set of blocks, gurgling strangely but still content. Dad hid behind his exquisite wooden sculptures. He was enjoying a bout of confidence because a very affluent person had purchased an angel statue after receiving a splinter. The buyer said “it was a sign.” Apparently, his dad had two very influential fans. One heavenly, the other, a desperate mortal. Meanwhile, Tommy’s mom was on the phone with her accounting firm. Both of his parents had the entrepreneurial mindset, but in different ways.

Something was definitely up with Lamarr, though. Her gurgles seemed otherworldly, and she was a bit more detached than usual. Did the experience at the cemetery embed itself into her psyche? Tommy was scrutinizing her carefully. She looked at him sporadically, giving him an animalistic, almost cognizant look.

Zeke was glancing at him too, making sure that he wasn’t too disgruntled after being deceived.

Despite some of the underlying tension, it was a brilliant sunny day and a tenuous peace reigned. Commercials were in the background too, pumping a stream of color and ambition into them without anyone perceiving a malicious or destructive force. Everyone had their things, both in hand and in the future, and those things provided a warm blanket that allowed for a constant hazy bliss. Tommy realized then that he was willing to fight for a peace that was eternally ready to burst at the seams. He had taken it for granted before, but those lazy summer days seemed like they would never get here again. And even if they did, someone was trying to infuse chaos into everything.

But Tommy wasn’t ready, and after looking over at Zeke, he was sure that his friend wasn’t either. In fact, everyone was sensing a cruel change and wanted to seize this era with a strength that prior to the last couple of weeks seemed like it didn’t need to exist. Tommy even tried bargaining to some higher power. “I’ll take these slightly depressing changes if that means things won’t get worse.”

 

Back to business

All that neglect seemed like it spawned an eternity
For what it’s worth, they have their own worlds to keep them occupied
Populated by quasi-villains and heartwarming values
Music, too, so that their spirits are uplifted
Original programming if things really get desperate

Nothing is given a “proper place”
Because grass often sways disobediently
Steel walls hamper the wind’s progress
Salty seas are traversed with outrageous glee
And southern gentility doesn’t know the meaning of itself

Insights & Perception

Even off-kilter psychologists have tools of authority at their disposal. Maybe they are slightly mad and revel in their errors, proclaiming them fact. They need only to quote other psychologists, or mimic their philosophies in other ways. Then all of a sudden these uninsightful eccentrics take on a whiff of legitimacy. That legitimacy might be tainted, but its authority isn’t noticeably diminished.

Not being in lockstep

To me, speaking out has seemed synonymous with being in lockstep with various political movements. Nothing wrong with this, but it’s also important to note that not being in lockstep with the prevailing political winds shouldn’t be considered unimportant by default. “This person is speaking out, but in a way and for a reason that is atypical.”

Being atypical is fine. And while people might agree with this on the surface, a very frequent occurrence is that abnormal voices are drowned out in favor of the ones that are in vogue.

Of course, this isn’t a new insight. Though it’s useful sometimes for old insights to be repeated.

Speak Out