Dangerous Compassions



Oh hey, how are you doing?  I heard this song by Bambu called Comrades, and I felt so touched and nostalgic.  You should hear it!

I knew a man long ago who said we were comrades.  My heart broke.  Wow–I thought we had a close personal connection.  I really wanted to be his friend.

He explained that he valued comrades as much as friends.  Maybe more than friends.  I was blown away.

I was happy to have solidarity with him and share in the struggle.  Sure–I’ll share the struggle any day.  But you know me.  Mostly I worshiped him as God.

It wasn’t his ideology I loved him for.  It was the cadence of his speech, his weakness for the food at Hare Krishna temples, his pretty hair, the way he said my name.  His ratty t-shirts, his shrug, his struggles with coffee, his beautiful names, the way he walked.

I never do love right.  I had him for some years, then lost him.  Then I had him and lost him again.  Maybe we’re really done now.  But he shines in my heart.


The song mentions “I would take a bullet for my comrade” which is an appealing idea.  Wow, that degree of devotion.  How dramatic.

But most days, we don’t need to take bullets, right?  Sure, I would like my life protected from present danger.  But I mostly need my life protected in long term ways.

What would you like, in a comrade?  Here’s what I would like.

  • respecting me as I am
  • listening
  • caring with words
  • caring with reliability
  • honesty
  • curiosity
  • patience
  • asking me after the meeting how I feel and how it went for me
  • showing up for feelings
  • showing up for Ming
  • knowing me for a long time
  • trusting me as doing my best
  • in it for the long haul

The sad thing is I think many a comrade would rather take a bullet than actually be there for another person in a real, day to day.  Taking a bullet is finite.  You know if you did it.  No one can object to how you took the bullet, for the most part.

For many dudes, taking a bullet would be much easier than doing love.  And less terrifying.

All of this is true, yet I love the song.  And I love many a dude, mostly unskilled and flailing.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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