There is an expression in French, that my friends have told me many times. Having studied Spanish, New Testament Greek, and 8 days of Latin, I didn't know it before- here we are, esprit de l'escalier- the spirit of the staircase. That thing you could have said, that would have made you win, changed the celestial motion of the planets within your personal life- but you didn't, and so here you are. For inventing a phrase for that feeling, I'll almost give back all the credit I took from the French (except for my one day in Paris when that guy swore at me for no reason- Fuck you, Mister French!). Most of my life recently has been filled with moments where I didn't do anything, and I could/should have done something.
Growing up in Northern Wisconsin, I never thought I would ever have to defend being Christian to anyone. And with most of my friends, it's not a personal thing, but sometimes they just forget, or don't care, or ride me on a rail for it. And right now, I don't know whether I should be angry or limpidly distant. I'm usually not angry- most people would tell you that it can take quite a bit to get my wick twisted, so to speak. Even when I should be. Even when something so personally important to me is skewered mercilessly in the middle of a crisis of faith.
That wasn't today- that was a few months ago. A different dinner conversation, that went where few gamer conversations go- to the point where somebody is offended, and wants to leave, and then leaves. What bothers me isn't that I didn't have the right response- it's the fact that NO response would have been acceptable. That the doctrine of a religion (or church- more specifically someone else's church) and the spirit of everything I hold dear can not, and will not, come apart for the majority of people I know.
Now, I could be wrong- and all these people could actually be more understanding than I take them for- and in retrospect, that's probably the case. The problem for me is how I feel like I can't even become angry when I should. Until recently, there was only one thing that got me angry- it was the big guy picking on the small guy, in whatever way. At our first dance this year, when a bunch of fuckheads decided to come in and tell all the geeks, gamers, and goths what a bunch of losers we were, laugh at us, and then leave. [At Macalester College- a so-called bastion of equality and multiculturalism. It's also been dubbed the most godless school in America by somebody who doesn't matter (Princeton review or somesuch), so fuck all.] I've never been so mad that people nearby have had the look in their eye that I might need to be physically restrained. Until then. And it might have gotten ugly, but not nearly so much for me as for some other people.
For right now, it's behind me. But the subtleness remains, tiny flecks of acid, remorse, Coke. I think I'm too subtle- that's always been my problem. I've never been able to help her understand.
Someone tried to tell me something, don't let the world bring you down
Nothing can do me in before I do myself
So save it for your own and the ones you can help
Want to make it understood
Trying though I never would
Trying though I know it's wrong
Blowing it away and gone
Wishing though I never could
--Blow up the Outside World, Soundgarden