I'm feeling anecdotal recently.
I was chatting one evening at a diner about my hated ex-wife. When I paused for breath I distinctly hear my neighbour say: "She seems like a real bitch."
"Huh? Excuse me?" I must have looked a bit scary. I said: "Who the fuck are you to talk about my ex-wife like that?You can say what you like about your ex-wife but don't you go thinking you can get away with that with me, not with my ex-wife. You don't know the girl. You don't know that I love her deeply and that most of the crap I speak about her is my own nastiness coming out. She's nothing to do with you regardless, and if I hear anything like it again I'll...."
Well, I can't recall the details of the rest of that short conversation.
There is a point here.
In a long life-time of wandering around I haven't often been back home. I miss it sometimes, and sometimes I don't. Still, I had one home, and that was it. I never found or really ever wanted another after that. I might complain about the place, it not being Arcadia, but that's me more than my home. If I complain about my home it gives no one else the right to do so. In fact, it offends me so deeply that I lose my lovely temper. My home is mine even if I don't live there anymore. If others want to butt in and slag my home, I take it personally.
Imagine my relative going to my neighbour and telling him that my lovely temper is terrible. That I cause my neighbour too much trouble undeserved, and that he's going to help my neighbour get back at me because I make the family look bad in the neighbourhood. My relative is superior to me in most ways, I'll admit, that being obvious to those who know me. But do I care? Not a bit of it. I do what I do and that's an end of it. My neighbour can live with it right up to the time my relative has worked the fool into a rage about my behaviour to the point that my neighbour demands I pay him for this and that, and till my neighbour decides he's going to send his children over to explode on my doorstep and kill my own. I say not only is my neighbour scum and deserves to die but my relative has a certain date with a rope and a lamp post. So what if my relative is morally superior to me? And maybe he isn't, given that he's worked up my retarded neighbour to commit murder and to murder his own children.
Which brings me to Omar, a fat and stupid slob from California who returned to Syria to get in touch with his Arabic roots. Omar could see nothing but wonder and joy in his old homeland that he hadn't seen since he was a child. Everything Arabic was good in his eyes, and I, nasty bastard that I must be, was critical of those I simply did not understand.
I didn't understand the guys Omar decided were his friends. After a shouting match between me and one of those I didn't understand, off comes the other's shirt as he jumped into the water and came to attack me. As he got into the boat I saw his torso covered with knife-slash scars. According to Omar I am to blame for causing trouble and offending his friends. Omar apologised to the others for the day. He took them for dinner, bought then clothes, smoked pot with them. He was as offended by my remarks about his friends as they were. "Those guys are snakes, Omar. You're out of your depth."
Omar hung out with the guys more and more. I told Omar: "Those guys are going to fuck you, mate." Omar got angry.
I saw Omar the last time as he sat at a cafe, his back to the wall, wedged between two of his buddies, a table in front of them pulled close. Omar's friends didn't look at me. They couldn't have cared less about my presence, their eyes dull and stupid. "Come on, Omar, let's get out of here."
Omar's eyes widened and he grinned. No, he wasn't having fun. He was scared to death.
Omar's friends knew they couldn't keep him. Omar knew it too. All he had to do was push away the table and stand up to break the spell.
That's as anecdotal as I'll be today. Maybe later I'll try being allegorical. There's a fine chance I'll be anechoic. I will be at VPL this evening from 7-9:00 pm in the atrium. I'll be there with others who stand up by sitting down. You'll know us because we wear blue scarves and I wear a baseball cap with an Israeli flag patch on the crown. I'm lovely. Join us.