There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.” Now… I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You’d be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking: maybe it means you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here… he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. And I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.
– Jules Winnfield “Pulp Fiction”
Want to hear a secret?
I’m amazing. This is fact. I don’t fully understand it myself. There’s this tiny bit of magic inside of me that you just don’t find elsewhere, and I’ve always had it. Put me anywhere on God’s green earth, and I can make a friend. Not even the language barrier can stop me. It’s a gift. Life can be so weird and funky, I just really want to be a good person. That’s really all I get out of it. And I recover from anything. Anything? Anything. I love that part of myself. I’ve rebuilt my life more times than most would believe to be humanly possible, and I do it with a smile. Again, it’s a gift, and I consider myself honored to have it. I really haven’t done anything to deserve it. But I am discernibly one of a kind.
But I’m not a sprightly do-gooder fairy. I’m human. As the song says, “I’ve got headaches, and toothaches and bad times too.” I get angry, annoyed, on rare occasion, even jealous. Some days, I just fucking feel helpless. I’m okay with being flawed, since I do everything I can not to allow them to overtake me. Despite my determination, some days I just kind of crack a little bit. I’m always embarrassed when it happens, not because I don’t believe that I’m entitled to feel, but melting down won’t change anything. Sometimes I just feel the weight of the expectation that I’ll be okay. It almost feels that people do really see me, as Hurston put it, as a mule of the world. People heap things upon me, and just assume I’ll carry it, because that’s I always do. I had to end an extraordinarily toxic relationship for this very reason. After ascending to heights of narcissism and and callousness that would make eagles envious, the offender said, something to indicate that we’d soon be back to our old selves again. Loosely translated, “You’ll get over it.”
And they were positively right. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t politely tell them to go fuck themselves. Because, I’m okay with my stress fractures. I wear them like badges. But I’m not now, nor will I ever be in the business of allowing myself to be tested, simply because YOU believe I can handle it. I’ve come to the conclusion that the weak enjoy testing the strong. The false power that comes with taking people down a peg or two placates a certain type of person. No fucking gracias. That goes for “any muthafuckin contender.” (c. Masta Killa)
Now let me take this tyrrany on the road and bring my cubs home.