Most days, I consider myself extremely lucky to have such a varied hodgepodge of friends and associates from all walks of life. I owe a lot of that to being introduced to firearms.
After swinging nearly a full 180 degrees on the Second Amendment, I can honestly say that this gradual journey has fostered unexpected connections with folks from every conceivable extreme in terms of culture, background, and political beliefs. Most days, I kind of like being a middle-dweller — a fence straddler, a person who changes her mind and is open to being persuaded, who doesn’t so easily fit into ready-made, pre-packaged cubbyholes. It makes for a more adventurous, more fulfilling, more insightful stay in my little corner of this cosmic blink of a eye.
But then, there are other days. There are times when I look with sheer envy upon those on the far right or the far left — those whose entire social circle is firmly planted in one well-defined camp, swaddled in absolutes and unanimity. They rarely hear people they love bashing other people they also love. They don’t dwell between equally cherished acquaintances who publicly trash each other and denigrate and decimate and scorn and sneer and spurn and mock and even taunt each other mercilessly, often agitated by the weaponized autonomy of cyberspace. They don’t lose sleep over complicated gray areas. They don’t deign to unpack generalizations and need not be inconvenienced by exceptions to comfortable rules.
Damn, that sh*t looks so f*cking easy, so black-and-white. As much as I love the impossibly diverse collection of humanity around me, some days, it is unspeakably tiring. And I’m ashamed to say that every so often I secretly wish I could just pick a side. Just flip a coin and be all this or a hundred percent that. You know those blinders they put on race horses? Yeah. I need a pair. As I watch people bask in that safe space, it looks so luxurious and toil-free. So much simpler. So much easier. And a lot less lonely.
Inauguration day is one of those times when I just have to step away from social media, turn off the TV, and occupy myself with randomly indulgent escapism. If that makes me a coward, well, I guess I’ll add that to my list of many flaws.