I have more compassion

when I know my limitations

and for all the facts I know

they don’t add up to the truth.

At a barbecue

I stood around

and talked to people

who might as well have been space aliens.

I was taken-aback by the Asian woman who asked me what I do

My gut reaction was to say, “I do nothing.”

But, I gave an appropriate response

and she told me that she works in HR

and the conversation fizzled-out

into silence.

When I claim ignorance in conversation

people won’t argue with me.

Sometimes, I’m mystified by what they say

“I lived in California for 30 years. Today, feels like an earthquake day.”

“What does an earthquake day feel like?” I asked.

“Humid—it causes the plates to slip.”

I felt like I had entered into the Dark Ages…

The stories people say

when they aren’t corrected

are a gateway into the past

where monsters

feast on brains

in the swamps and fog.

When I left the barbecue

I went to my parent’s house and talked about spiritual experiences

“Fire flows through you when you hear the spiritual wind,” my dad said.

His stories speak of altered sensations

and my mother’s concrete facts are so specific

she mixes them up, like word salad.

Which one is wrong more often?

And which one do we want to believe?

8 thoughts on “Barbecue Blues

  1. We are, often, socialized, to accept others’ values as our own, without, questioning them, until, we grow older, and, encountered things in our own lives, that turn, all the values we acquired from before, upside down.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Comments on a post. You write them, compelled by a spark, something you read which resonates, and you think you have something in common with the author but nothing is less sure. You see, when you really have something in common, the conversation will be uplifting, like a wave in high tide, but it also makes you feel like you are fighting the tide somehow, for similarities and identicalities tend to repel each other to a certain extent, like two positive charges. In lamer words, if you feel no asperities in the conversation, if the whole thing is a big nod, then you have little in common…
        It is late in my part of the world and I am probably not making any sense any more, I better go to sleep. Great post by the way, too bad for me I only found about it now. Better late than never…

        Like

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