Dangerous Compassions


“Hey, honey.  What if I get tattoos all over my body like a lizard?  Then would you still love me?” I asked Ming.  He was driving us home.

“Lizards get tattoos?” he asked.

“No, so I look like a lizard!” I said.

“Yeah, that’s totally fine.  That’s no problem.  I’ll still love you,” he said.

“Ok, great.  I’ll make my appointment tomorrow,” I said.

This is funny because it would take way more than one appointment.

cattle guard

“Do cows really not cross cattle guards?” Ming asked me a moment later.

“Sometimes a cow will lie on a cattle guard,” I said.  “Some cows, I think they don’t care about cattle guards at all.  I saw a picture one time of a cow lying on a cattle guard.”

“So these were smart cows?  And they took a picture?” Ming asked.

“Cows don’t take pictures!” I said.

“Oh, I meant…”

“You mean like a cowboy took the picture?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.  “A cowboy who saw a really smart cow.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said.

“Yeah, you know like those bears on the east side of Yosemite who figured out how to use bear canisters,” he said.

“What?  I don’t believe you,” I said.  Actually I had heard of these bear canister opening bears.  But I felt contrary, and in that moment, I was not believing it.

“Yeah, it’s true,” he said.  “Only on one side of the park.”

“This is so weird because I was just thinking about that, this morning,” I said.  “When we were talking about how to create societal change.”

“You were thinking about bears?” he asked.

the 100th monkey

“No, I was thinking about the 100th monkey,” I said.  “Do you know about that?”

I explained to Ming this concept of how a monkey learned how to do a special thing.  And it taught a few other monkeys near it, on that side of the river.  But once a certain amount of monkeys understood something, they all did.

It was a telepathic monkey thing.  A magical number was reached, not necessarily 100.  This was all part of someone’s hope about ending nuclearism.  They thought if enough people understood the danger of absurdity of nuclear weapons and war, a lightbulb would go on for all people, and everyone would understand.  A telepathic human thing.  Great idea, but specious.

“Yeah, I read that book in high school.  I had this teacher who was a cross country coach.  He had that book, so I borrowed it from him,” I said.


I can’t remember why I wanted to tell you all this, reader.  But speaking of lizards, I embroidered this lizard by the dumpster.  It’s simple right now, but I thought you might like to see.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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