My sister had a very depressing friend who made Eeyore look like the bluebird of happiness on Ecstasy. People would get up and leave the room when Kevin walked in. This man was banned from bars not because he was violent, but because he was depressing, and aggressively so. He demanded his pound of flesh in sorrow, and like some sort of parasite of the Psyche, he usually got it, too.
Kevin’s Big Deal was the fact, or at least he claimed it to be a fact, he caught his best friend and his wife having sex. Depending on how much Kevin was drinking, or the phase of the moon, or which way the wind was blowing, or which one of his meds he had taken too much of that day, you might get the version where he was returning from the hospital after visiting his best friend’s dying mother. Or you might get the version where they were having sex on the kitchen table. Or you might get the version where Kevin had just rescued a dying kitten and was rushing home to give it to his wife, and his best friend trampled it on the way out.
Oh, and it did how much good to point out the story had changed?
Anyway, for reasons still unclear to me, my sister agree to go out with Kevin, and after their date, she locked herself in the bedroom of her apartment and watched Disney movies for the rest of the weekend, a sort of a dialysis of the soul.
I’m a dyed in the wool pessimist. You cannot rescue stray dogs and not have some sort of real idea how black the souls are of human beings. They’ve done it before, they are doing it right now, and there is damn little you can do to stop them from doing it again. I own guns not because of hunting, but because of people. We invented nuclear weapons, Wal mart and Disco; is there any real reason to hope?
Then there are the Disney people. Like my sister, they really think that there will be a happy ending and if we all put forth enough effort, the birds will sings, the butterflies will flutter, the rainbows will glow, and love will find a way. They live life as if they’ll win the life lottery, and all that is bad and evil ( and Kevin) will fade away with the dawning of the new sun. I think these people are delusional at best. I think they’re dreaming, and sooner or later, life will wake them up, and they will discover when the credits roll, nothing at all has changed in the real world.
What I really hope, however, is they are right.
Even if they are wrong, we over here on the darkside, have to right to point out it is raining on their parade even as we speak. In point of fact, we have an obligation to encourage them to be who they are, even if all that cheerfulness and optimism wears after about fifteen minutes. We have to remember no one like to listen to how poorly their stocks did, or how painful their last kidney stone was, or how there’s some scientist in Switzerland who is trying to create a black hole that will suck us all down like a cold beer in 2012.
Given company to keep, you have to go with Lady and The Tramp over Cujo every damn time.
While I’m a chronic pessimist, I try to be, at a minimum, polite, and when I can, nice. Being a pessimist, or a realist, doesn’t give you a commission to go out and piss in anyone’s Wheaties. And you sure as hell do not have the right to be mean to people, just because you think life sucks. Just because life sucks doesn’t mean you have to, too.
There are a lot of people out there who have given up on life, and living. Anyone whose very existence proves one person can touch the lives of others and cause happiness and joy is an affront to these people, and it is paramount to discovering they are living a lie. It’s not a lie to realize that life can be cruel, but you have to live. I rescue dogs. I rescue snakes. And when I run into one of these chronically happy and cheerful people, I try to accept the fact that I might be wrong about people, and there is some sort of hope.
There are some pessimistic people who are nothing short of philosophical bullies. These are the “Oh the sky is falling and if you can’t see that then you are stupid and I get to say so.” This is nothing more than an excuse for abusive behavior. The bottom line is there are some people who cannot stand to see anyone else with a smile of their face. It’s pure and undulated cowardliness of the first magnitude, and nothing else.
Kevin wasn’t so much a bad person as it was a scared person. By believing the worst case scenario he had nothing left to fear when his first date with my sister crashed and burned. By expecting everything was going to go to hell he felt validated when it did, and with that, missed the disappointment he might have felt had he only believed he was worth believing in. By giving up before he started, Kevin showed the world he was right, that he knew the future, and he was right.
People like Kevin lose everything before they ever have it. They beat down any hope, happiness, or joy in order to escape failure. Someone once told me I was living proof there was hope for humans. We had been drinking and I fell out of my chair laughing at her. “How”, I laughed, “can you say that, after what you saw what someone did to Sam?”
“Because of you did for Sam.” She told me as she joined me on the floor.
The Disney people are annoying as hell. But if we have to hope anything at all, we have to hope they are right.