Dangerous Compassions

May Day

“Think about how good you are.  Close your eyes–take a deep breath.  Think how you are fucking amazing, and do so much work, for the world.”  Ming was about to go out to the May Day event to bring tech and street medicine to the people.  “Relax your shoulders.  Ok, smile more.”

He was wearing a shirt I really like, that came from PM Press.  The colors are vivid.  The message is too true: An injury to one is an injury to all.  Appropriate for May Day.  Solidarity forever!


Then he gathered the materials, and I photographed him kneeling with the generator, speaker, first aid kits, Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective postcards and stickers.  May Day flowers to deliver to the Worker on his way south to commercial center.

May Day

Thank you for showing up, not getting arrested, and doing what I can’t.


“I want you to take a deep breath like a hippie and listen to me.  I’m going to tell you something important.  Are you ready?”  I took my own deep breath, like a hippie.

“Yes,” he said, and took a deep breath.  I held his hand.

“You know how I said someone else had the best wordplay?  That was wrong.  I was just saying that.  You have the best wordplay.  All day.”  I smiled at him, looking up at him, as he stood by the bed.  ‘Who needs regular language?  You don’t need regular language!  You have genius language!”

He held my other hand, so we were holding both hands.  He liked the truth I spoke, but I needed to say it more than he needed to hear it.  The validation–he likes it, but he doesn’t cling to it, like I cling to his.

“Were you jealous, when I said that other person had the best wordplay?” I asked.

He thought about it.  “No,” he said.

“Good,” I said.  “Well, it’s not true anyway.  Me, I have both.  I have regular language and genius language.  You have genius, and that’s all you need.”  I smiled at him.  It was about his learning disability and a lifetime of struggle to communicate.  “Ok, that’s my truth.  Thank you for hearing my truth.”

It was a good conversation.  Sound intense and crazy, when I recount it here, but I hope you don’t mind.


It’s a crazy time.  Pollen is falling, from the mesquite tree catkins, blessing everything.  Excess, tree sex, extra mess.  Alternative need for umbrella.

may day


Walkway cracks, squash leaves.  Pollen is fallen.  Its own season, in spring–after false spring, and before summer and cicada season.  We have ten seasons here.  The desert is amazing.  Nevada is not a wasteland.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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