M. and I landed in New York City the day of the Paris attacks-- their "9/11", as it's being treated. It was most likely tense all around us; a city's deeply-rooted PTSD triggered by watching another sister city suffer the same plight. But M. and I were so elated to have landed in NYC (an old stomping ground for him) and just enveloped in each other that we walked blindly through it.
And that seems insensitive and ignorant. We tried to find the balance of staying off social media to be present on our vacation, but knew it was necessary to keep abreast of the events.
I felt a certain pressure to say something somewhere because I'm known in these parts to say something when something happens, and I say it passionately. I just couldn't though, I was both unwilling and I couldn't form anything relevant or not frivolous. And if I thought of anything, it would've been disingenuous and narcissistic and self-righteous, and none of that belongs. My void of response coinciding with my Instagram photos of donuts probably communicated something false though...
And— I’m on fucking vacation. Is that insensitive? Dripping with privilege? Well, fuck you. Because this: when I’m slacking at work, I use every free minute to stay plugged in— The Toronto Star, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Al Jazeera— all my chosen trustworthy news outlets who are on top of shit. Yes, I knew about Beirut so it’s best not to call me out on empathy gap bullshit. I don't know all of the events, and I don't understand all of the events, but I know a lot of them and care about them more than most people pretend for a moment or two. And that's not me participating in a dick-sizing contest of being on top of events...
I'm just saying.
Being this plugged in means you’re deeply immersed in the shittiness of the world all the time, it's frequent, it's chronic, it's a bedroom that frustratingly never stays clean and tidy, and it just so happened to have happened to Paris on Friday. Another shitty thing, that came after another shitty thing, that has most likely taken place before another shitty thing about to happen. So what do I with that? How do I narrate my life knowing shitty things occur everywhere all the time? Become nihilist and join the rest of the shitty clan? No. I love a little harder, a little more intensely, I hold M. a little harder, I sink a little deeper into him, and I thank for him and enjoy him and everyone else whom I know and love a little harder, every second of the day I’m awake, every day. That sounds cliché as fuck, but I do believe it really is the answer during a time of mourning and devastation and when social media is a very confused nuisance that probably means well, but can just shut the fuck up now.
I used this vacation to show this love and appreciation. If you know the world like I do, none of us are immune to terror and what and whom we love could be wrenched from our hands at any moment.
Love everyone a little harder, right now.