In the heart of every cynic is a crushed idealist.
The disappointment in our fellow humans is commensurate with the degree of hope we once had in us. The first time you see the fat kid, or the kid wearing broken glasses, rub his yeast roll in his greasy hair to keep a bully from stealing it, you leave that lunchroom hardened. You can feel the sting on your own ear when he gets his thwacked with a cocked birdie finger for not yielding the prize. I was not in the 2nd hall bathroom when it happened, but the story goes that the kid with the broken glasses brought his dad’s revolver to school and when his persecutor followed him into the bathroom he was looking at the barrel hearing clicks while the fat kid asked him which chamber he thought the bullet was in, like, “Maybe it’s in this one Travis? Click. Or is it this one? Click.”
Travis exploded out the bathroom door on a frantic run, while Kurt calmly walked out behind him, the gun back in his backpack. Nobody I know ever saw Kurt again, but we sure spoke of him often, most frequently to Travis. “Hey bro, seen Kurt lately?” Then we would laugh at him as he slunk down 2nd hall.
So the world is not fair and you don’t often get your way, but then sometimes a little ray of justice shines through and you think maybe this time, maybe I get to win. Everybody has their sad story, and I think everyone sees themselves as the heroic underdog, but the truth is some of us are more under than others.
Me? I am a heterosexual, married, educated, and employed white man living in a society where those are all favorable qualities. Where, when people ask, “But does he fit in around here?” There’s a decent chance the answer may be yes, even if they don’t know my outsider’s heart.
For some people though, their outsider-ness is not optional. It’s on their skin, or the hand they hold at the movies.
That is why, when I walked into the courthouse today I got that familiar power surge, that lump in my throat. I am not sure that it matters like it once did, as the buying power of JuanchoPAC is minimal. I can’t help it though, I want those bullies to stare into the barrel of my vote gun and listen while I make it click.