the buddhist monk asked me, “what are you doing? killing?”
i can’t lie to anyone, let alone a buddhist monk, so i sighed, looked him straight in the eye and owned up to my actions, “yea. i am killing.”
“that’s not very nice.”
and then he went on to make a strangling motion and talk about how he saw the suffering in the eyes of animals and we spoke brokenly about compassion and cigarettes that i mistook as clove.
why was i killing? (with great energy and precision, it should be noted). i was killing because i was frustrated and tired and premenstrual and hangry. i wasn’t feeling particularly great-full, and was on the verge of tears (and full out crying) all dang day. i was killing because i was feeling powerless, and projecting all of these feelings into a deft swatting arm.
i was killing because flies are vermin, and it is satisfying to end a problem (real or perceived). and because they are as plentiful as all of the not-so-easily resolved “problems”, you can get caught up in a killing trance. stay in that mesmerizingly distracting sense of accomplishment.
amanda started not to wipe the blade, and i followed suit. i killed recklessly and left the bodies, broken and bloodied and made macabre jokes about aging out the job of child soldier, but being qualified to train them. i started talking to the flies as if they were my trainees. skipping the three step training module and going straight to the double reward of extra shit if they slaughtered their families. (the flies are smaller this year than they have been in previous years).
today was the first day that i embraced the plastic fly swatter. i usually favour a towel for its quick whip and large surface area. i reflected on my best kill when i caught a pair off guard-during coitus interruptus. except i was the interrupter. aw, yea. did i ever interrupt her. and him. or him and him. or them and them. however the fuck flies fuck-i don’t really give a fuck. i just wanna fuckin’ hate. (tell me who you want to fuck and hate).
apparently-i am capable of total and complete fly murder.
but i can laugh at myself. when i relayed this story to my colleagues, i was asked:
“do you know why that monk is here?”
i guessed, “because he was thrown out of the monkery?”
“no-his last job was at the chicken slaughterhouse, and he couldn’t handle the killing.”
that explains the strangling motions.
you know what compassion is? compassion is shaming someone without shaming her at all.
compassion is holding up a mirror so the killer can shame/hang herself.
why do they call it “killing” when you do something well? when you rock the flyest outfit or do the best standup set?
why are we so focused on “slaying” and being the only one? we can’t count it as an accomplishment unless we eliminate all of the “competition”.
why don’t we talk about how lonely it is to kill everyone around you? why do we act like there’s no room for all of us when there absolutely is?
why do we get so stressed out when we’re not killing that we settle for walking dead?
corey booker said on the philly free library podcast tonight (to me), “you can’t be a great lover without knowing immense heartbreak”.
it’s easier to kill (and die) than it is to live, and that’s what we do when we give up.
but we (the royal) do not give up.
tomorrow will come and bring forth new opportunities to keep living and helping others keep living.
with all the gratitude for the spirits, earthbodied and otherwise, i give thanks for the library book that i did not lose after all, this buddhist monk, a well-stashed tandoori chicken naan, palo santo, that visioning exercise, and my homegirls who are already holding space for me on that boat spa.
i promise not to kill any more, or not exhibit any more “virgo misery”, at least until my birth day.