Biff America: Tragedies and skin conditions
I’ve found the best way to deal with a horrific situation is to ignore it.
Case in point, last Monday I had two choices, give attention to a ghastly summer of violence, intolerance and ignorance or… go on a bike ride. Yes it helps that none of the horrors of hate occurred in my zip code but rather France, Florida, Texas, Louisiana etc. But that said no locale is exempt from the anger that seems to be scorching in our planet.
And certainly I’m loath to make this all about me, but on that same day I also had a nasty road rash on my buttock. Just the day before I took a fall on my bike and installed an apple-sized raspberry on my left cheek.
Admittedly it seems a little self-centered even mentioning my inflamed bottom considering the magnitude of grief and suffering of recent events — but that’s just how I roll.
So like any good escapist, I ignored the spate of this summer’s tragedies to focus on my own needs and took a bicycle ride. As if to illustrate our nation’s political dysfunction and negativity, just before I left the pavement and headed onto a trail, I was stuck behind two vehicles; one had an old bumper sticker with a drawing of George W. Bush with the words, ‘Somewhere in Texas A Village is Missing an Idiot’ and a newer looking sticker on the second car, ‘Honk if you hate Obama.’
But the beauty of having Attention Deficit Disorder is that as soon as I left the road, I forgot all about the wrongs of the world and instead focused on my heavy breathing, wildflowers, crisp air and my good fortune to live this life. The beauty and excretion allowed me to put both the summer’s sadness and my bothered butt on the back burner.
Earlier in the day, I had alerted my personal physician of my rash issues and he called in a prescription for cream that he guaranteed would in time, return my glutes to their once mint condition. So on the way home I stopped at the apothecary.
At the front counter I was asked, “Do you have any questions about the use of this medicine?”
“No I’m just going to smear it on my butt.”
It was then that I noticed the pharmacist’s name tag. In all truth I have since forgotten his name, so I’ll just make one up — that’s just how I roll — his name was Keith. But that isn’t important. What was notable was that on Keith’s name tag, along with his moniker and title, were the words, ‘I love my wife.’
I swear those 4 words did more to soothe my wounds and depression than any medicine or bike ride ever could.
We would be a different planet and a happier people if we all put more time and energy declaring what we loved/liked/approved of instead of what we hated or feared. How refreshing if politicians said, “That guy/gal I’m running against has done his/her best but I’d be way better for these reasons…” How about if the alleged news channels — on both sides — mentioned the good work and good people of those folks, who we might not agree with, but who are doing what they think is best and doing it in a legal and moral way?
Perhaps those same news outlets could give attention to the Muslims, Christians, Mexicans, immigrants, blacks, whites, cops, rednecks and tree huggers who just want to live a good life, be happy, loved and appreciated. Of course there is no question that the media needs to cover terror incidences but they also have the obligation to point out that you are way more likely to be killed by a bee or a bathtub than by a bad guy. (I was afraid to look up the stats of ‘death by butt rash’.)
So your choices are to either focus on what you fear, dislike or what you love. The world is full of lovable possibilities — your wife, husband, children, job, dog, environment, biking, reading, skiing, church. The lucky ones are those who love a lot and hate nothing.
I’m here to say I love many things, including my wife.
And she say she loves me even more now that my rash is healing……
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Biff’s new book “Mind, Body, Soul.” is available at local shops and bookstores or http://shop.holpublications.com/products/biff-america-mind-body-soul
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