One of my current joys in life is a springy little bunny that lives in my house. Having no need to distinguish him from any other bunny in existence, I have taken to calling the bunny, ‘Bunny’, which is something of a little throwback to a favorite novel of mine, and leads to many jokes between me and my flat mates (“The bunny has a name, you know. It’s ‘rabbit’”)
Bunny has another name, Penny, which dates back from some gender confusion at the beginning of his adoption (well before I was a part of his life) when even the supposedly professional Chinese vet unsuccessfully assigned him the wrong sex. Frankly, this was only a problem till they wanted to get her tubes tied. By that point, he had already repeatedly humped my arm. So everyone was shocked but me. Despite spending most days caged, by my best reckoning Bunny has a pretty good life. Often, I am the first one out of bed in the morning and I let him out of his cage to bounce around the living room and chew either the furniture or whatever the hell else he can get his pointy little teeth on. If I am wearing a black sports shirt as a pajama Bunny will mistake it for something delicious and give me a firm bite right in my fat roll.
I will forgive bunny these trespasses, mostly because he is just so fucking cute. Since completing the bunny equivalent of puberty, Bunny sprouted some sick fucking sideburns, and now struts around looking like an 18th century politician or that one Game of Thrones character (I don’t know which one. My friend constantly brings this up). He has a very handsome, very distinguished look. And he will stare you down in a way that just lets you know that he is boss around these parts.
Excepting some times. Every now and again I will find Bunny sitting on my part of the communal sofa, panting somewhat heavily, staring off into space with what looks like an extremely puzzled look on his face. I have no idea what is going on in his tiny little bunny mind at these moments, but I guess he is having a moment of pure Lovecraftian horror, where he is beginning to catch glimpses of the reality as it exists for us humans, and his tiny as place in it and he is just terrified, as his poor little bunny brain just cannot handle it.
My colleague is a fucking idiot. Now and again he will be seated in front of his computer for some fucking reason breathing heavily, just staring off into space, an extremely puzzled look on his face. In those moments he looks just as helpless as bunny. The difference being, I know when the last time bunny bathed was. With my colleague, I have to go by the smell. It isn’t promising. But in those moments when he is starring off into the terrifying wilds of the universe I feel a moment of pity for him. I wonder if his tiny brain can handle the same terrifying universe me and any potential reader of this blog (IE no-fucking-body) navigate on a day to day basis. My best guess is that no, he cannot. He exists in horror of a world he simply does not understand.
Think I am being harsh?
Alright, I will be square with you. This post was written pre the national US election and the genesis of it was his justification for who he intended to vote for. Now, let me be clear by reaffirming what I just said; JUSTIFICATION of who he was going to vote for. I could care less about the result, I care about how you reach the result. If you say ‘I will vote for candidate X because of his sound policies on X, Y, Z’ I will give you your vote with no problem. However, if you tell me that you are voting for the said same candidate because the reanimated corpse of Marcus Aurelius commands you to, well then you can fuck right off. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but I do. Nor am I going to tell you who my idiot colleague voted for. We can leave it in, like some kind of ultimate Rorschach test.
So I asked the idiot why he was going to vote the way he initially tried to make some points that I simply did not understand. In order not to give too much away, I won’t get any more specific than that. The point is, I didn’t understand his argument, and so I asked him to elaborate. Elaborate he didn’t, he simply turned onto other topics. He was speaking in talking points, and thus didn’t have anything to say about it more than what he had already said. Then he made some pretty damning accusations. Now, some of them are the kind of things that I myself would believe, but I am not one to run with well enough. So I asked him what proof there was. At which point he began to tell me that everyone knows this. I tried to tell him that an assertion is not evidence, and I asked him again what proof there was. TO which, he continued to assert that everyone knew. If everyone knows, I asked, why has nothing been done about it. Because the person in question is protected. As if political enemies don’t have connections, and the American left/right divide is somehow one sided. So I told him again that an assertion isn’t evidence, and this time I tried to explain the difference with an analogy. And he didn’t get it.
And he accused me of trying to trick him. No joke, he clutched his temples, massaged his head, and moaned, rather childishly, “I feel like you are trying to trick me!”
Because I said an analogy to try to clarify the difference between an accusation and evidence of an accusation.
No this wasn’t the only time or subject that led to such disappointing conversations with my flatmate. We have had similar conversations about all conspiracy theories, religion, English grammar, basic linguistics, and just about every conversation topic under the sun. When I threw Russel’s teapot at him to try to get him to understand that the best time to believe something is when there is evidence for it, he simply stated that it was perfectly justifiable to believe that a teapot was in orbit between here and Jupiter. Sigh.
Ok, the confused bunny look my colleague has on his face aside, there is another facet to him that lends itself to my pity. I have over the course of our time together gotten to know him a bit, and I have learned that he likely has not had the most wonderful life. I know he lost a parent, and I suspect it happened at a young age. Most importantly, I know he was on anti-depressants for a while, and I have seen those drugs go south. He was vague with the details, and I feel like he may have been embellishing the truth a bit. But he reminds me of an old friend when I look into his eyes and see that the lights might be on, but no one is fucking home.
Years ago I had the pleasure of briefly rooming with someone from Latin America. I like Latin Americans as a rule, and frankly I have no idea why I didn’t fucking move there (oh, that’s right, the economy sucks…). He was a fascinating person, who had had loads of interesting experiences in his life. Among these experiences was an amazing laundry list of drugs taken. Drugs were never terribly fascinating for me, as my dumb ass found reality puzzling enough without addling my brain further, so talking to this friend about his drug experiences was pretty fascinating. And it gave me a perspective I had never considered before. Consider the following dialogue (real, I assure you):
Someone: Have you ever done meth?
My friend: Yes.
Someone: What was it like?
My friend: Boring
Certainly an interesting perspective, and if nothing else it illuminates just how much this guy had done. This friend of mine was truly brilliant, particularly considering I had met him in an academic setting. But every now and again I would look into his eyes and just find them to be a little dead. I wasn’t the only person to have noticed this, as a mutual friend also joked about the same thing. The story we concocted is that clearly this friend of our friend did ayahuasca or peyote one time to many, and at some point a little part of him simply did not make it back from a certain trip.
This friend had an intellectual rigor to overcome this flaw. My colleague, who I am sure has never had a drug stronger than Xanax, does not. But he has the same dead eyes, and the same flat look on his face. I don’t know what drug or experience killed my colleague’s soul, but it makes me terrified of him. Because when I look into those eyes, I just see emptiness. Emptiness, and stupid.