Dangerous Compassions



“You know, I’m really tired of not understanding how oranges work.  I’m 45 years old!  You’d think I would know by now,” I told Ming.  We were in Las Vegas.  Ming was driving down the road, headed west.

“Yeah?” Ming asked.

“Yeah!  I mean, why are there segments?  Was each segment a different flower?  And what about the seeds?”

I thought of the wet brightness of oranges, the individual jewels inside that glow with luminous delicious beauty.

“I see what you mean,” Ming said.

“How does all that work?  And what about the mini orange that’s inside?  I want to know about all that!  Why has no one helped me understand oranges yet?  It’s beyond time!” I lamented.

“We can look it up,” Ming said, comforting me.


I read the wikipedia article on oranges.  Hmm, I learned a lot.  But I’m still hungry.

I learned about different orange types, cara cara, Florida and Asia and my own homeland of California, where oranges are grown.

Grafting, root stock, oranges reproducing asexually, citrus fruits in general.  Some Orcutt from Minnesota who my hometown was named after.  An orange tycoon, in addition to popularizing the La Brea Tarpits.

Do tarpits make you think of armpits?  Maybe it’s just me.  I liked those La Brea Tarpits and learning about dire wolves and all the megafauna that used to be around LA.  That was exciting.

It made me feel less crazy.  If I can imagine other worlds, and believe in other ways of being–other worlds are right here, just on a different timescale.  I’m not wrong.


I’d like a Master’s degree in museums.  My thesis would be: Spoonfeeding Truth: How Museums Edu-tain Bored Tourists and Charm Children into Brainy Scientists.

What do you think?  I think I’ll call my next band the Charmed Children.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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