Thursday, May 7, 2020

Forgive us our trespasses

Lilith and I were watching the news yesterday, when I noticed a man behind Trump at the celebration of nurses event (where he dismissed one nurse for mentioning a shortage of PPEs because he'd heard otherwise) twiddling his thumbs. Around and around they went. The thumbs on his hands went round and round, round and round. I posted something here, referred to the twiddler as a "male nurse." Got an instant response from someone who took a workshop with me one summer, a gifted, fascinating person who once before trolled me, then asked to be my friend again later. Comments escalated from "isn't that awfully gendered?" to sarcasm about how I am always right, and always sensitive (he made clear his own insincerity about this). He noted his transgender child's anger at my post, my labelling the man a "male nurse." A friend back-channeled to ask who the hell he is. She advised me to cut contact. A short time later, I saw that he had already de-friended me. I feel very little affect over this whole thing, except a bit of wonderment that I more than once became a symbol of something so detestable to another human being. What's verbal violence, when black men are shot in the street for jogging? For being. Yet it seems part of a piece, this refusal to consider ourselves flawed, to acknowledge we don't know others but that they merit the right to exist. When my father said the Lord's Prayer, the line about forgiving trespasses was the one I loved. Truth be told, it was the word (so much better than "debts") that mattered. As we forgive those.

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