First step of time traveling is research.
You don’t want to be unprepared. You don’t want to look like an idiot. You need to be in the know, buttoned-up, ready.
I read the newspaper for the FIRST time in 3 weeks.
For those who know me well this is unheard of. I look at the news first thing in the morning, mid-day, and then a heavy dose at night. A heavy dose from multiple sources, because I want to understand the “other” side. You can’t know the “news” if you pick your narrative. So many people are “informed,” but only feed their own needs, their own ideals. You can’t make judgments without something to judge against. Its basic math. You can’t say greater than if you don’t know the variable on the other side.
I took news seriously.
I need to jump to your time. I need to rejoin the clock. I needed a quick read. Time is everything. I read the NYTimes morning briefing.
Four takeaways for you from the other side. From a perspective that you can’t see.
First, nothing has changed. Seriously. Really nothing. Same old stuff. I recall when I was in your time that each day was a roller coaster. Each news cycle had some disaster to scream about, to debate, to talk about over dinner. But let me tell you, it doesn’t. I walked away and all of it still sits there, continuing on. No change. Some ups, some downs, but overall analysis, just the same shit.
Not sure if you should take solace or take rage in this truth, but I hope solace. I talk to many of you, but in my mind pops Julie Fleisher. Take a night off! Take a week off. Heck a month! It will all be the same. Spend your time on something more important.
The second thing that stood out was all the talk of women. Go USA! I love the women’s soccer team. I love that they have “goals.” Goals is the right terminology right?! I know NOTHING about sports. Seriously. It’s sad. It’s not “points” right?!I love that they will challenge basic assumptions that have existed for as long as there have been sports. I support their goals/points. I choose women’s soccer as my new (and only) sport.
And I think watching soccer will go nicely with my Brooklyn craft beer.
Three, the educational crisis in higher education. Of course, its there. Only 7 things listed and it makes the list. This time with the focus on Alaska. I have opinions on this…but that’s for another blog.
But, the one that made my heart stop was the death of Eva Kor. Reading about her life. What a a life. Or what NOT a life. She lived her adolence in torture that even a horror movie couldn’t make up. She is one of the survivors of the twin experiments on Jews during the holocaust. I read that she “worked in real estate.” Such a normal phrase to such an abnormal existence.
She “worked in real estate.” How is that even possible?
She “worked in real estate.”
Anything is possible.
She is strong. She is remarkable. Did you know that she even stood next to her torturer and gave him forgiveness? WHAT?!
So lesson of today, you can do anything! Think of Eva. You can do anything.
And it always could be worse… Seriously. It could be worse. You could be Eva or just my neighbors. To my left and right, it is worse.
One is a family from Jamacia. Their child has leukemia. He has relapsed twice. It is clear they don’t have any money and have traveled here to save their son. I can’t even imagine what a daily struggle this must be. They teach me how to make mac n cheese edible for my son. Salt and pepper and some butter. Jacobs taste buds have changed with the chemo. Things don’t taste the same, but he still wants his comfort food. Turns out parents secretly “spike” everything. We all use the easy mac as we don’t have access to a stove. We all live the same tortured existence and we share. They teach me their tricks, their trade secrets.
I asked them what grade their son was in?
Stupid question. So much to learn! I sometimes forget that there is no time here. I go straight to my “old self,” straight to the “small talk” questions.
The longest he has been in school is 2 months. He is 9 years old. I ask if he can read. They shake their heads no.
I’m going to teach your son to read. We exchange numbers.
And then tonight I met Joshua. He is in college but has been battling a disease that creates tumors in his nerves for 21 years. Multiple surgeries and the anxiety from the disease is killer. It paralyzes him. His mom is a teacher and was born in Israel.
I met him at Bingo. He gave Jacob his prize. He was kind and so aware of the little kids. Wise beyond years. We talked about his anxiety. He had to drop a class and I helped alleviate that pain. At least I hope I did. I hope I helped Joshua tonight. He deserves a “little help from a friend” (thanks Nightwing friends for that one).
And the whole thing is so beautiful. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is.
So today I stop the pity party. Today I move past that. I’m over it. There are people who are in worse situations who then went off and worked in freaking REAL ESTATE.
Steve? Do you hear that I’m done with all of that. Count me in. I’m all in.
And I’m going to do it all. I’m going to feel it all and do it all.
I cry only for beauty. I cry only for hope. I cry only for you.
I do cry for you. You, friends of Nightwing.I cry because I am so full.
So today I go to work. That’s what I’m best at anyways. I will work from here. Today i joined your time. I even met someone at “6:00 on a Monday.”
It’s Monday. Well…that sucks. But its Monday and I know that tomorrow will be Tuesday, unless I missed some epic shit in the news these past weeks.
I’m going to try and join your time for work.
I work for Jacob and I work for all of these kids. I work for these parents who have spent every dime they have to save their children, traveling miles for a cure. I work for them. I work for their children’s future.
And I am thankful. I am thankful for every day even in this hell.
I BEAR WITNESS.
You hear me. I bear witness of these children.
I SEE THEM. I FEEL THEM.
I will tell their stories.