Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gang Fight

Happy Monday, dear strangers. I hope you all had a magical weekend in unicorn proportions, and yet still had a chance to feel heart-broken over some of the terrible things that happened during it. Feeling heart-broken is good, sometimes. It means you're alive and still have the ability to care.

Ok, so the elephant in the room. I know I've written about loneliness a couple of times now. And those posts basically seemed like a cry for help. And I know exactly what you all pictured when you read them.

Eli McCann, sitting in a dark room, his 47-53 cats walking all around him, meowing, while he listens to the Wilson Phillips' hit single "Hold On," crying.

Totally inaccurate though. I don't even have a copy of "Hold On." I don't need it. It's written on my heart (picture me dancing right now).

A whole bunch of you left comments and sent emails to let me know that you all totally have my back. But probably not in the gang way. Like, you support me and love me, but if I got attacked by another gang, you would probably all just run away. And that's cool. I would do the same if you got attacked by a gang. And, for all I know, I might even divert all the attention onto you by pointing in your direction and saying "this guy has been calling you guys fat ALL DAY!" just to make sure I'm not targeted.

I don't know. I've never been in a gang fight so it's hard to say how I might respond. I'm just assuming I would be a team player right up until there was any chance of getting shanked. Then I would immediately align myself with the majority and act like I had been there all along.

Unless you guys were just thinking that you would have my back even in a gang fight, in which case, yeah, totally. Me too.


So whether we're a gang or just a loose affiliation of migrant strangers sharing a connection up to the point of a possible risk of shanking, I appreciate those emails and comments very much. I hope I've been really clear about that.

And I also hope that you all know that the reason I've discussed my recent experience with loneliness was not so I could totally get lots of attention and have you throw me a pity party.

But, like, if you were already planning one, we might as well still have it. Also, if you could do a pinata, that would be awesome. And maybe Paul Simon could jump out of a cake. Just spit-balling here. Don't trouble yourselves too much. You know I hate it when you make a fuss.

The reason I've been talking about loneliness is because it's sort of a new thing that I'm experiencing. And I'm trying to be more honest about the whole range of life experiences I'm having so you don't think that I'm a one-trick pony in a constant state of mocking hysteria.

Guys. I have other feelings too. I'm versatile. I'm a double-threat when it comes to emotions. Yeah I make fun of animals. But I cry when Sarah McLachlan sings about them, too.

And I'm actually kind of happy, way way deep down, that I'm having this specific experience right now. Because it's making me appreciate so many things in ways I hadn't really appreciated them before, or, to a higher degree than ever before. Feeling lonely is helping me to love people more. And it's helping me to notice more quickly when someone near me needs me to love them more.

There's a short film from the '70s, somewhat well-known in Mormondom, called "The Mailbox." It's about an elderly widow who lives alone and whose children and grandchildren never visit or write. So she spends large portions of her afternoon every day standing outside, waiting for the mailman to come and . . . not bring her anything. There's one scene where she's sitting in her dark and quiet house at night, looking at a picture of her deceased husband. Her voice, cracking with old lady heart-breaking emotion, shatters the silence as she says, "I'm just so lonely."

It makes you want to go surgically attach yourself to all of your grandparents and a dozen other old people you don't even know. And anyone who has a soul at this point in viewing the film attempts to climb through the television to hug the hell out of this woman. And then go throw away all the newspapers and magazines in her closets from the 1950s because you KNOW she's hoarding.

That reaction of charity was surely the producers' intended consequence in making the film. Because as sad as it can feel to talk about the kinds of tough things people face, be it loneliness, loss, abuse, etc., cognizance inspires change. And if that change is tied up in people being a little kinder to one another, then that cognizance is a really wonderful thing.

Awe heck. Maybe I would have your backs in a gang fight.

~It Just Gets Stranger

29 comments:

  1. I would totally through down in a gang fight for you Eli.

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  2. I'd have your back in a gang fight. Especially if we're talking West Side Story Sharks VS Jets. I'd pirouette step ball change jazz hands it up mighty fierce in your defense, unless the Queen of Colors was somehow involved. In that instance I'd trip you and make a mad dash.

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    1. ha ha ha ha ha, this is awesome.

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    2. Totally agree. I would have your back in a gang fight as long as the Queen of Colors wasn't there. Or the first eye. I don't think the first eye could fight very well but that thing just freaks me out.

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  3. I'm sorry. I wouldn't have your back in a gang fight. I'm trying to learn to shoot a gun because I recently moved from California to Texas and that's what you DO here. My friend complimented me on my "amazing shot - right through the heart!" and I had to be honest and say I was aiming for the paper man's head. :-/ So, I would be next to useless.

    On that note, however, I once saw a gangfight erupt back home in San Diego and this teenage chick picked up the umbrella stroller her BABY was in and swung it into some other chick's head. Her baby was IN the stroller! AND, it totally didn't even cry. Apparently being used as a blunt object is apparently not the least shocking for gang-teen-babies. So, no. Not going to join.

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    1. Umbrella strollers are really light. It wouldn't be much of a weapon at all without a baby in it. It's just plain physics. Those gang chics know their physics.

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    2. I didn't think of that. You're right. She was putting that partial high school education to work for her...

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    3. And the baby knows if it cried gang-mama's aim would be thrown off.

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    4. Also a valid point. Way to take one for the team, gang-baby!

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  4. I love you I need that

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  5. I have this strange affinity to want to hire people whom I deem to be talented or who provide great service. But I don't really have anything for them to do and don't have the capital to hire people to just hang out with me. But if I did, you'd be on my list, Eli.

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  6. Ohmygosh. That movie sounds absolutely horrid!
    But, wait... you have feelings? I'm shocked by this. Completely shocked.

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  7. You'd be on my list of people I want to hang out with too, Eli! I'm sorry that you're going through bouts of loneliness. I would totally be there to hug away the loneliness, and the two of us would play games like Battle Ship, and we would play with your 47-53 cats all day long. And if you ever got in a gang fight, I would totally fight off that gang and show them not to mess you! I know that it doesn't help much by saying this, because it doesn't change the fact that I'm not there. But I just wanted to say that I would do that for you if I could. Hang in there! Know that all of your friends, family, and Stranger fandom all love you. :)

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  8. I love your posts, Eli. I wish you'd write an entire book of this stuff!

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  9. I so want to set you up with my friend Becca because you are the only two people who, on a regular basis, make me laugh so hard I snort. But then I think if two very funny people get together it just wouldn't be fair to the rest of the world, there are so many unfunny people who desperately need to date a funny person to learn the error of their ways. You have got to spread funny genes around instead of concentrating them in one place. So I guess you'll both just have to live without each other...think of it as taking one for the team, and by team I mean the entire human race.

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  10. Well, you know why that granny's really crying don't you? Someone let all 57 cats out at once, and she doesn't even know who Wilson-Phillips is.

    Besides, she totally ran from the last gang fight..so, there's that.

    I know, I'm a granny and I speak from *sniffle* experience.

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  11. I forgot that movie existed until just now.

    And now I want to hug my grandma. But I can't. Sad. Maybe I'll go hug someone else's grandma.

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  13. I was totally into this blog until you mentioned Sarah McLachlan singing about animals. Then I curled up into the fetal position and starting crying and rocking back and forth. You were saying something about a gang fight between lonely old people and Paul Simon?

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  14. Because you KNOW she's hoarding. *snort*

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    1. That hoarding line actually made me fall off of my chair!

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  15. What about that Mormon movie with Jimmy Stewart--Mr. Kruegar's Christmas? Killed me! Is it just me or do you nice Mormons enjoy extremely emotional, tear-jerker movies??? :)

    Julie

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  16. I was going to write something wise, like "you have to go through loneliness to find solitude" or something, but with your cat and hoarding problems, i'm afraid you'd just end up a hermit or something and that when it's time for you to come back we'll have to send the FBI after you. don't worry, we think one of my students is really an FBI agent undercover, so I've got an in. We won't lose you. Oh, right, anyway, that won't happen because I'm not saying anything wise or philosophical. instead you should just practice that jets/sharks fight mentioned above.

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  17. I totally have your back as long as I get to be the one swinging the watering can tied to a garden hose and yelling "can attack!". I vote for naming ourselves the Monkey Lords but would also accept The Hobo Lords if you prefer.

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  18. I don't know that you'd need any of our help in a gang fight. Your 47-53 cats would do the job for you as long as you keep them in Fancy Feast and catnip...

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  19. I bet you wish you hadn't turned down Georgia's granddaughter right about now. She could help you with that loneliness.

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  20. What about Cipher in the Snow about that little boy who had no friends and so dies of a broken heart. Kind of reminds me of Eli.

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  21. I want Paul Simon to jump out of a cake at a my pity party! that would be awesome!

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  22. If someone ever threw me a pity party I know that I'd want you to be there, Eli!

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