This morning, I did two things that are bad for me: I drank Starbucks and read the newspaper.
Since I am gearing up to take a much-needed spiritual retreat/vacation next week, I am focusing all of my efforts on being as efficient as possible. As such, I thought I would wait in the parking lot of Staples from 7:35am (the time I drop off Beaner at the bus) to 8:00am (the time the store opens) instead of schlepping back home only to leave again to retrieve my copies. After giving smooches, straightening collars, and instructing my urchin to make it a great day, I decided I would enjoy my parking lot lollygagging a little bit more if I had a tasty Tall (notice not a Grande!) Decaf Light Whip Mocha. While in line, I opted to pick up our local newspaper, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. After having the adorable, scruffy barista give me my poison, er, order, I returned to the Mojomobile and drove to Staples to await the opening. I slurped on my delectable bev and cracked open the paper, both of which I rarely do. Here is what I discovered...
THERE ARE A BUNCH OF NUTJOBS OUT THERE.
During my fifteen minutes of idle-time, I read about unauthorized nuclear testing by North Korea, cutbacks in education, and gunrunners traveling across the border into Mexico. However, two flaming nutjobs jumped out at me as particularly odious.
1) Melissa Huckaby of Stockton, California who apparently kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and killed the 8-year old friend of her daughter. After the killing, she stuffed the little girl's body into a suitcase and dumped her into a pond. If I could say something to Melissa it would be this: Melissa, Poor, Deluded, Fucked-up Melissa, you are like a nasty old string of Christmas lights with half of the lights burned out. You are so twisted that the best thing to do with you is throw you away so you don't have to show your ugly mug in society ever again. Shame on you. How dare you! I am sure that when you go to prison, there will be other mommies in there with you who will frown upon your method of chaperoning play dates. Paybacks are a bitch, Bitch, especially when you harm a child. Ouch. It sucks to be you, in this lifetime and beyond.
2) A not-yet-identified man in my own home town of Sarasota, Florida is viciously attacking old ladies. It seems that Dickless Wonder has broken into the homes of nine middle-aged to older women, sneaked up on them from behind, bonked them on the head, robbed them, tied them up with rope, sexually assaulted a few of them (including an 82-year old woman) and killed the last one just last week. Dick, you WILL be found and brought to justice, you fucking coward. Just as Nutjob #1 will have a rocky road in the hoosgow, you too will feel the pain of your fellow inmates' displeasure at your shenanigans. It's not that I'm wishing it, mind you, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of the yard rats bonks your soft melon and gives you a taste of your own wretched medicine. (Insert your own soap-dropping reference here.)
Now, I know that I will be rightly accused of a lack of compassion for my fellow, extremely wounded, human beings. The Higher Self in me knows that these two whackjobs are most likely products of abuse, neglect, and trauma. My enlightened side says, "Show them love". Jesus would say, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do." Yeah, JC, God should and will probably forgive them. But I don't need to. I guess I believe that they DID know what they were doing, and those two crackpots are hard to forgive. However, it's possible that my lack of forgiveness stems from my proximity to the crimes.
In the case of the Evil Mommy, I can't help but think about my own almost-eight year old being in that situation. Emma has gone next door for a playdate with her best friend countless times. Ms. Huckaby's actions instilled that same fear in me, even if for only brief flashes of time. Through her unconscionable choices, she has rocked the worlds of mothers and fathers everywhere, not to mention destroyed the lives of the victim's family.
In the case of Dick, he has chosen to attack vulnerable women in neighborhoods where close friends of mine live. I drive by these places several times a week. This isn't some distant story buried in the national news page; it's where my peeps live and work. Clark and Beneva. US41 and Stickney Point. Siesta and Osprey. This deluded shell of a man has put the fear of God into house after house of women in my town, and I for one am pissed about it.
Here lies the challenge and the opportunity. There will always be nutjobs amongst us. Eight years ago, we had a handful of nutjobs get on four airplanes and change our world forever. That same year, a mild-mannered nutjob named Andrea drowned her five kids. Twenty-two years ago, another nutjob was putting poison in Tylenol capsules in my hometown of Chicago. Over sixty years ago, there was a whole country of nutjobs led my the King of the Nutjobs who started exterminating people. How do we live in peace, comfort, and joy, knowing that heinous tragedies, local and global, have happened and will happen again in some form or another?
I'm not sure I know the answer, but here's my humble opinion on how to survive the storm of crazies:
We believe. We are unafraid. We trust in Spirit. We know that everything happens exactly as it should. We don't allow the weakness of others become the weakness in ourselves. We rise to the occasion. We find the gifts buried in the muck. We become shining examples of what it looks like to be conscious, loving, compassionate people.
In short, we don't let the nutters win.
Some days, like today, it's easier said than done.