Dangerous Compassions

flower crown

flower crown

Hello, I have been wearing this flower crown sometimes.  People seem nicer when I wear it.  Sometimes they smile at me or give me a thumbs up.  Maybe I will wear it more often?

I was wearing it that day at a food giveaway when I was singing the Bob Dylan song.  We ate all the rice and oatmeal, but not the white beans yet.


Ming and I went to this camp event space where I sat by the pool and stared up at beautiful trees.  Someone had left bubble solution and a bubble wand, so I blew some bubbles.

If bubbles are the solution, what’s the problem?

Someone at the camp event space was sitting alone in his truck smoking weed a lot.  I was like–damn, how much weed does he need?  He was also coughing a lot.  First I was wondering if it was a pandemic issue.  Then if it was a weed issue.  We mutually ignored each other.

Someone had roasted a pig, but not enough people had showed up at the gathering to eat it.  They kept offering meat to us, and we kept saying no.


The man who brought the pig was a Mexican guy who asked us questions about where we were staying, then didn’t track the answers.  People assume the farm we live on is ours.  He seemed venal and annoying.

I had wanted to go swimming in the pool, but we don’t have bathing suits.  We were going to swim naked, but I didn’t want to be naked around that near-stranger who asked about property values like we would know.

It’s strange to me how big a deal class is.  It seems to become more of an issue, the older we get.  By not owning any property, we become weirder.  Wow, that’s possible!


Then a little kid was there.  The Mexican guy was talking to the kid in Spanish, and the kid was answering in English.  The man seemed pushy like other Mexican guys I’ve met, trying to make the kid speak Spanish.

“Quieres la sandia?” he asked the kid.  In addition to trying to give away pork, he was giving away hunks of watermelon.  I didn’t want his sketch random watermelon from his random cooler.

I see his point about language and culture, but dominating kids is just sad to watch.  What an easy target.  I prefer consent.


Some salsa dancers were there.  This sounds kind of like a dream, huh?  A slightly fat lady gave me a tip of where she goes to salsa dance–a veteran’s hall.  I’ve wanted to take dancing lessons for a long time.

“I really want to salsa dance.  But I’m not sure I can keep up,” I said.

“Yeah, I was afraid too, at first!” she said.  “It depends a lot on the partner you’re dancing with.  Some people are more chill, you know?  And some people are just exhausting to dance with.”

“Yeah, makes sense,” I said, imagining dancing with Ming.

“This guy was exhausting to dance with,” she said, pointing to the dommy Mexican.

“I was excited!” he said.


The day is still vivid in my mind, though it was a while ago.  Ming went for a walk.  I sat by the pool.  A stranger came by, and she sat by the pool for a while, reading a book.  Then she got up to leave.

“Am I interfering with your experience?” I asked her.

“Oh no!  Not at all!” she said.  “I’m just going to go for a little walk and smoke and come back to swim.”  She took her backpack and left.


Then I was going to give a zine to someone before we left.  I wished to be friends with the slightly fat salsa dancer.  But I felt too vulnerable to try to be her friend.

A white lady was talking about racism with the Black man, the same man who had been smoking an inordinate amount of weed in his truck.  She was telling him painful racism cliches, lacking awareness of how painful they were.

The cliches were equivalent to a prideful, “I’m not religious–I’m spiritual!”  That degree of cringe.

“I may not have done the harm, but I can help repair the harm my ancestors did,” she said.  She went on and on in a monologue to this guy.  It was bizarre how he had to listen to her, doing emotional labor for her, holding space for her, when he was a Black man who probably didn’t need racism explained to him.  Or to hear how great she was for doing some virtue signaling lip service.


Whoa nelly.  That was not a good scene.  Looking back, I wish I had held my hands in a “time out” symbol and asked loudly, “Did this listener consent to hearing you go off explaining racism?”

I was tired, and I could do no more at this weird dreamy pork party.  We just had to go.

I could tell you more, like about trying to find the main hall, the quirky bathroom with curtains for doors, and exploring the lost and found with Ming.  I’d like a master’s degree in lost and founds.


A long time ago, someone I respected told me, “You are an original thinker.”  He seemed impressed by this.

I was a teenager and didn’t understand the significance.  Now I’m a middle aged person and notice that almost everything anyone says is something they’re repeating.  They heard it in a movie, podcast, email, meme, or book.  I get frustrated with the mass plagiarism.

But I guess he was right.  To me it’s normal.  But it’s rare, to have original thoughts.

So it doesn’t make much sense to get frustrated about the repetition.  I can’t expect people not to be people.  And I can’t expect others to wear a flower crown if that’s not their style.


Also, I notice that people really like weed.  It works for many, as a way to relax.  I prefer to relax by making art, smashing patriarchy, cooking, lying in bed in the half-dark, hearing my nurturing music playlist.  Writing blog posts is a pretty good way to relax too.

I’m proud of myself for trying to be social, even if it was kind of a fail.  I’m proud of myself for original thought.  True, it’s work.  And it was fun to blow bubbles for a moment.

I was modeling something, with my flower crown.  Not sure what.  Maybe I was brave to be silly, and the world could use more silly.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

One reply on “flower crown”

You are brave and the world could use more silly and bravery of the sorts you show daily. That party, wherever it was, reminds me of so many social gatherings I’ve been in or seen. Never quite comfortable, but curious. I love the photograph of you with the flower crown.

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