Monday, June 7, 2010

Bubble trouble

Got a bit of cut and dry wisdom today. I knew it was the kind of wisdom I needed to hear, so I put the giant piece of sushi down that I was about to devour and took off my glasses, leaned my face against my hand and listened...hard. The wisdom, which would have seemed pessimistic to anyone else on the "outside" was a gem. Something that I will sort through long after this day or this week or this year even.
"Nichole," my sage of the day said, her quiet authority on the subject blasting through the hum of the central air conditioner, "there are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who live in a bubble and the ones who don't. That's it. Two kinds."
That's when I popped the sushi in my mouth, and chewed loudly and a little reflectively. Mostly loudly, though.
"You mean the people who've been through sh*t and the people who haven't?"
"Yes. The people who've had the worst possible scenarios played out in their lives and the ones who watch the news and the movies and say, 'Oh no, that'll never happen to me, that happens to other people.'"
"Can the bubble people be with us non-bubbles? Can it ever work out?" Even as I was asking this the answer already presented itself.
"Well, probably not because the bubble people will just think you're a pessimist for thinking the worst. And, and this is the bad part, they'll judge you all of the time."
"Judge me for not having a bubble?"
"Yup. Or judge you for losing it."
"But how could they..." Never mind, I know how.
It sounds more depressing than it actually is. In fact, being able to make bubble distinctions is a skill, and a handy one at that. It might even save you from that Claymore you were about to step on. Bubble people need to be shielded from people like me, but so too do I need to be shielded from them. You can't tell a bubble person something horrendous about your life or your past and feel good about the look on their face. You know the look I'm talking about, the holy f*ck this girl is messed up. You can't joke about drinking hemlock with a bubble person. Or about the time you flipped a car and left it on the highway because your boyfriend from Kuwait had so many drugs in the car you'd go to jail before you ever saw the light in the emergency room. And you definitely can't tell a bubble person how you and your brother joke about the time you forged his ex-wife's name on the hospital release form after he tried to step into the afterlife.
It's funny to me. And him.
I guess we non-bubbles do have our own little dysfunctional bubbles we live in. Sure, they're not made out of crystalline soap swirling out of a magic wand. Most likely they're made out of tinted glass, the shards of which we clutch in our hands every time the bubble breaks. Still we have a place, too. The nightly news doesn't scare us, reality is blunt and grappling, and (and this might be the optimist in me) there is always the possibility that we have clearer vision because the bubble disappeared so long ago. The horizon is my bubble.

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