Slowly scrolling through my phone, hitting play with my thumb — watching all of the tragedies around the world unfold— feels like the exact opposite of what I should be doing. It feels casual. It’s like I’m watching someone getting bludgeoned to death and I turn to the person next to me and ask, “Do you think we should do something?”
Uhhhh, yes, you asshole! We have to!
I’m idle while nature is clearly shouting, “Have some urgency! I’m dying! Light a little fire under that ass! I’ve clearly got one under mine!”
Sure, there are actions I can take to help. They all feel inconsistent with the level of alarm that’s needed. Voting, making more of an effort to not be wasteful, eating less meat, donating — none of these things feel like I’m treating this like the emergency that it is. I want to be permanently in a fire truck, thinking about triages.
I think that’s why I’m so enthralled by Greta Thunberg. She’s reacting exactly how we all know we should be.
We should ALL be screaming “Do something! Be better!”
She’s behaving like her house has burnt down — like she just watched her past turn to ash and her future quite literally go up in flames. It seems like the appropriate reaction to have.
Watching Greta, my mind always wanders to, “shouldn’t we be treating our personal lives like the world is on fire, too?”
Admittedly, this thought trail always makes me seem like more of a teenager than Greta. She’s obviously the responsible adult that's putting food on the table, while I’m upstairs doodling boys' names in my notebooks.
But, our humanity is at stake. We need to be better. It’s vital. Its time to fucking resuscitate.
A couple of years ago, I was at an upstairs bar in South End, Charlotte.
I consider South End to be where all of the pretty people live and hangout — they were the kids who grew up in cul-de-sacs, with two parents and then they became bankers and marketers.
It must have been someone’s birthday, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been there. I prefer to be somewhere with dim lighting and free bread — bonus points if there are olive oil and vinegar mixed on a saucer.
When I think about how we all need a Do Something, You Asshole pep talk, this night comes to mind.
I remember fervently watching all of these pretty people side-eye each other.
I watched these twenty-somethings scan each other’s South End bodies. I watched them eventually make eye contact and then quickly look away. I watched them make a mental map of the best routes to get to one another, once they got the nerve to finally say something — once the alcohol kicked in but not a minute before. I watched them do their best to look as disinterested as they possibly could.
It was painful to witness.
I wanted to let out a shriek that only dogs can hear, “LOOK AT YOU! LOOK AT HIM! YOU’RE BOTH SO HOT! GO KISS THAT MAN’S FUCKING FACE OFF! HE WANTS TO DO THE SAME TO YOU! LICK HER FROM HER ANKLE TO HER EAR LOBE! DON’T WALK! RUN!”
It’s a real bummer to remember that night. It’s a reminder that so many of us only feel comfortable to make a move in the wee small hours of a drunken night.
Stop doing that. I promise you’re enough when you’re sober and without any other crutches. Too much is at stake. It’s urgent. We’re burning.
Now I’m thinking of another time I was in a bar. This time it was in a basement, in Chelsea. The lighting was more preferable, but still no bread.
While I was at the bar grabbing our drinks, back at our dim booth, my friend sent a U Up? message to a guy on Instagram. She meant for this message to be funny and hoping it would start some playful conversation—considering it was around 5:00 PM…that’s why it’s funny!
By the time I got back to the table, he still hadn’t answered and she decided she was too embarrassed to tell any of us about the message. Truly, at best, this guy had acted completely lukewarm in all of their other interactions and she didn’t want us reminding her of that.
Later in the evening, he did finally message back with a simple, “lol.”
Pissed off enough, she fessed up.
Our “who cares?!” and “you’re better than him” responses, reverberated through that basement.
Feeling warmer and bolder, she cut us off and shouted, “You know what?! Marry me or don’t talk to me!”
Boom. Pop. Crackle. Hiss.
That’s the kind of intensity I’m talking about.
We’re past lukewarm, bitch.
Marry Me or Don’t Talk to Me.
And, I (nor she) means that in the sense of, “Come meet my family and let’s get registered at Target,” because, quite frankly, you might not be good enough to meet my family.
It’s the sentiment. It’s tenacity. It’s the gut punch we need.
Marry Me or Don’t Talk to Me is asking someone to learn how to be all-in with themselves.
Be unfiltered with me — because I promise that’s exactly what I’m going to give back to you.
My heart is drained and I’m full of gut-eating grief for the earth and my family. I am only available in a dark-roast and there is no more room for cream and sugar.
I’m not interested in saving face anymore. There is no time.
Shouldn’t we be telling each-other exactly where we want to put our mouths?
When the end comes and it all collapses in on us, I want to remember writing sweet messages, learning about your childhood traumas and the honor I felt trying to provide you comfort, begging for forgiveness from my body because of all of those wee hours, saying I’m wrong, screaming your name, holding your hand, purring into your lap, looking at you and doing that smile that you can’t stop from happening.
I want to look back and think about you making me say please. I want to remember how it felt to be humbled every goddamn day. I want to remember the feeling of making up for lost time.
Listen, it’s almost over.
The house is falling apart.