April 6th, 2007

monkey pirate

Anger or hurt?

I had one of those sleepless episodes last night - I had trouble falling asleep at all, and then I woke up later, feeling like I'd slept fitfully and gotten up earily. Blearily I hauled myself out of bed, figuring I'd make the best of it, and maybe go boogie-boarding down on the beach or something. With growing horror, I realized the clock said "3:30" not ..say, "5:30". Way too early to just stay up. So I climbed back in bed, and tried to calm my thoughts. When this happens, I try meditating, prayer, or just carefully following some train of thought - and combinations of the three, until I settle into a sleepy rythym.

So other than mulling over yet another portentous, weird dream. (In which I was a living harbinger of Spring, and had to activate the changing of the seasons by engaging in the sorts of rites with other harbingers about which gentlemen do not publically speak.) One of the thoughts I mulled over was the appropriate response to verbal aggression by others. It came about because I recognize and regret that I've inherited my grandmother's sort of nasty sense of humor. I find it all too easy to make a cutting joke at someone else's expense. In some cases it's appropriate, particularly amongst men - yagathai can attest to some vigorous "hate crime time" down at the shore, for instance. But for the most part, even if one gets a laugh when making cruel jokes, and even if the victim laughs along - someone gets hurt. I try and repress this urge as much as possible and be as positive as possible. It's something I contend with, but I think I've mostly mastered it, except when I'm tired or bitchy. But I also unfortunately inherited my grandmother's thin skin - receiving those cuts always hurts. I know all too well how it feels to be the one that a group is laughing at, and having to figure out how best to respond, even while feeling the sting of the cut.

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