Long solo drives require that I have good music, and when I’m tired of that I have a good story to listen to on CD. I never had a reason to get into books on tape when they first came out, but I have come to value them now. After listening to four music CDs, I was ready to hear an audio book. The story asked me to suspend reality, to believe that a cyclops, the last of his kind, wandered an island and all that that entails. The authors wrote a story that makes me believe. Yes. Why not?
I drove to New York to attend my son’s graduation from high school, and it was a wonderful day. He is a beautiful thing in this world, not the standard teenage sheep, but a wild spirit full of deep thought, creativity, and the rebelliousness that comes along with not playing inside the lines or staying inside the box. He’s cultivated some true friends along his journey, friends that certain parts of society might label sinners and sodomites. He spent graduation night with his “fruit” friends, a name he lovingly calls them, and I am glad he was with them.
The next day I took a long walk with my dear friend in a local park and then we sat at one of the benches under the pavilion to continue our conversation in some shade. We noticed a long-haired person lying on one of the bench seats, but he was keeping to himself so we kept on chatting. He got up from his bench and asked if he could bet us that he could change our view of everything in one minute. He was about 20 with lots of full, brown hair, board shorts, a tank top, and he wore a long pendant that had what looked like a dragon with wings outspread, but there was a symbol underneath my old eyes couldn’t make out and I didn’t want to get closer to discern. I said, “I won’t bet you, but what’s on your mind?” And he sprang into preaching the view of flat earthers. Oh gawd… really? Sigh. My friend sunk into her cell phone while I engaged the young man in his beliefs, not trying to debunk him because you can’t tell an alcoholic to stop drinking just as you can’t tell a flat-earther not to believe. I understood his reluctance to believe in what science espouses because it’s all just a conspiracy to get us to be afraid and conform and turn away from God, but once he said, “Just like they pound it into our heads that we have to accept trans people as normal….” all my light-hearted goodwill shut down. I no longer wanted to let him take up any more of my time. I stopped engaging him with questions, I think he got the idea that I was done, so he got in his car and drove away. All I could think was that if my son had been sitting there, he would have been up in that guys face, and it would not have gone well.
I am driving a car that no one could ever believe existed. We are defeating diseases that no one could ever believe we could. We build towers and bridges, planes, vessels, and armament that no one would ever believe could be true all those years ago, but here we are. I am typing my thoughts on a keyboard and screen knowing that there are people who will refute the science of vaccination. I can’t disprove it, so proving it is impossible, like proving the moon does not have a light of her own, which she does not. Right now I can’t prove that Newton and his society wanted to control the world with fear, nor can I disprove it. Only you can, and I ask that you spread the word of reasonableness. I want to ask that everyone set aside their emotion and look beyond yourself, your children, your grandchildren, and their children. We are alone in the universe at the moment, not because the earth is flat but because we haven’t found anyone else yet, and even if we did, we need to take care of each other as we would brother and sister. I would like to stress that the future is not white and god-fearing hetero, but it’s a future that understands we are tender, fragile humans that would like to go on, but you must use science to do so. Science is not the enemy, no matter what anyone says. Your beliefs are relevant and no one should ever shut you down, but at a certain point you need to believe that one plus one equals two. And those two need to embrace and keep the whole thing going.