Dangerous Compassions


“How was your time?” I asked.  That’s a question I ask Ming a lot, as if we had a policy.  He goes out into the world and does a thing, then returns to me.  I’m curious what happened.

“It was good,” he said.  “Someone got really mad at me for not getting out of her way.”

“In the store?” I asked.

“No, in the parking lot,” he said.  “I was using a wipie, and she didn’t notice I wasn’t getting into the car yet.  She made these motions with her hands.”  He mimicked exasperated, frustrated, dismissive hand motions.

“Ah, I’m sorry,” I said.  “Was it upsetting for you?”

“It was ok,” he said.

“Was she an old lady?” I asked.  I’ve seen an old lady in that store a couple times who has a very short fuse.

“No, she was a young lady.  Maybe a middle aged lady.”


“There was a nice checker, though,” Ming said.  “He made a lot of eye contact.”

“Did you like that?” I asked.

“Yeah!” he said.  “I was helping bag the groceries, and he looked at me, and I didn’t want to be the one to break the eye contact.”

I was surprised this was desirable, since Ming has a reputation for being opposed to the glorification of eye contact.  Different cultures do eye contact differently, and Ming asserts there’s no inherent greatness to eye contact.

“He was friendly,” Ming said.  “His name was Erick.  Erick with five letters.”

“Uhhhh!” I said.  “Did you tell him we have a policy against Eriks?”

“No,” Ming said.

“Yeah, serious,” I said.

“This one seemed really nice,” Ming said.

“Yeah, that’s the problem!  They always seem nice at the beginning!” I said.

Then we laughed.  “True,” Ming said.

“That’s what a policy is for,” I said.  “That’s why you need one.”

magic tunnel

While Ming shopped, I’d gone for a walk.  There was a dumpster I wanted to check out.  Then I saw a beautiful magic tunnel.

magic tunnel

Ahhh!  What a tunnel!  I was walking through it feeling overjoyed with a tunnel light experience.  Looking for graffiti on the walls, talking to my friend Ariel on polo.  I found one tag, but it was gold on tan and hard to see.

Then a cyclist almost hit me.  Oops!  People go really fast in that tunnel.  Then from the other direction, another cyclist came quickly.  He had a lassie dog in a trailer.  The dog looked up at me and was gone.

On the outside of the tunnel were some depictions of people.  My favorite was this kid.  Their balloon and beige rectangle are thrilling.


These mirror image guys seem sad.  Kind of Unibomber.  “He was always a lavender loner!”  Their legs are two different sizes–I can relate.



These arts are supposed to depict the people who are using the tunnel.  Regular people like me and you.

I try to see myself in them, but no fat woman is there.  Oh well.  Seeing myself depicted positively in media is a very rare day.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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