Home » Cancer » Turns out I can’t complain.

Turns out I can’t complain.

So today, it was a good day. Mom and Liza and I, we went shopping. Mom wanted a belt, I needed a new white shirt and Liza never seems to want or need anything. She just comes along. Afterwards we went for sushi. Sushi is awesome because it looks like a lot and its cheap. Tea and sushi. It was a real treat. I was able to do this because I got a cheque. My stipend. My only income. My virtual reality. Because it can’t be a real reality. No one can live on $212.64 a week. I like to think I manage but I couldn’t. If I didn’t have help from Arms Around Bainbridge this month I would be going hungry. Literally. Or eating I don’t know what. Bills would be piling up. I would be trying to find work. That’s what would be happening. I couldn’t go back to my old job. They won’t have me as long as I’m this sick. Who can blame them. I would be trying to find something, there’s always something.

We drove past a guy dressed as the Statue of Liberty. He was waving a foam arrow pointing to a tax preparation place. I see him there a lot. Always the same guy. He seems okay with the work. I mean, he’s there, right? He hasn’t quit. I was wondering if I could do it. I don’t think I could stand that long. I would try though. You take a job like that and you don’t expect much in the way of supervision. I think I would sit, once in awhile. Mom and Liza laughed when I said I would do it. But I would. Totally. To me work isn’t about pride, it’s about money. Lack of money,in fact. Loss of pride? That’s all about not being able to feed yourself and pay your bills. But I’m alright. Really, I am fantastic.

Compared to what’s happening in the world…I’m GOLDEN!

Ever hear of the Orontes River Valley? It’s in Syria. Poor Syria. I watched Frontline last night. It was all about the Syrian conflict. The true horror though was the fact that both sides seemed so incredibly reasonable. Not sane. No one who aims a gun at another human can be completely sane. Wouldn’t it drive you crazy? It would me. But even crazy people can bargain. Can reason. It seemed to me as if they were open to reason. Discussion. The Sunni’s, they are just small town guys. Not city folk. They just want to eat, sleep, farm, go to church, raise their kids, they would stop immediately. Right NOW, if only they could. But the regimes soldiers, well, they kept sending bombs. Of course they must fight. Against their will.

And the regime? They couldn’t let these militant Sunni right wing religious nuts take over. The regime is nonsectarian. The regime is anti terrorist. They were…so reasonable. The fact, though, is that the right wing extremist religious dudes over there understand divide and conquer. They know that all they have to do is foster suspicion and prejudice. That’s easy enough to do. It’s how they recruit new members. Members who don’t seem to mind blowing themselves up.

Hmmmm….who the hell is telling the story!? Seriously. Isn’t someone right and someone else wrong? When you show both sides of the story it’s confusing. I’m from North America. I’m used to being told in black and white. This is what is happening. This is why. You decide if you like the idea or not. In Syria? Such nice people. Why are they mad at each other? At me? At The Regime? All of a sudden at each others religion? Because if you knew Ali, my friend and fellow waiter at The Top of Vancouver, you’d love him too. He’s Syrian. His family was amazing. Beautiful people too. Nice teeth and hair. Just saying. Stop fighting and sit down for a second. Lets eat. Lets talk.

War. Boarders. Senseless violence. Let me assure you, what happened in Syria can happen here. Try and reason with a bunch of fat ass, pro gun, pro automatic weapon, pro right wing, pro right religious, paranoid red necks -or read that as ‘try and reason with a bunch of fat ass, pro gun, pro automatic weapon, pro right religious, paranoid Muslims.’ They are NO DIFFERENT. Even their religions are similar, exclusive and mean spirited. Oh…shoot. No pun intended. I hope this doesn’t upset people. People here are used to peace in the USA. Peace in Canada.

New Zealand and Canada don’t register guns. The two countries register handguns and military-style semi-automatics, but not rifles and shotguns. How many have died here in the States because of guns this year? 30,000? It will be more by the 1/2 year mark. God…30,000 dead and there’s no war on. Technically. There is though. The Tea Partiers are likely to shoot your ass dead if you stray onto their front lawn. And no one is likely to prosecute them either.

But it’s far far more fragile than you think. Do you really believe that our army would let a bunch of religious nuts start shooting civilians? Wouldn’t they step in? Wouldn’t they start hunting them down, out of thier mountain strong holds and try and bring them to justice? Wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t YOU be pissed if they started shooting at your son, your brother, your kid? Oh, you know you would be. And plenty of guys in our army, YES the army of the USA, would defect over to them. They agree with the right wing nutbars and they would change sides, with their guns, just like in Syria. They would capture weapons, they would shoot farmers, kids, civilians, just like In Syria…they’d be sorry. Darn that other side.

We would fight back. To keep those nutty pro gun right wing assholes from taking over, wouldn’t we? Wouldn’t we?! Shit. I’ve scared myself. The thought of that level of violence isn’t impossible here. I can see it. All the mothers, packing Dodge trucks and the trunks of Kia Sorrentos with blankets and diplomas and photo albums and tents. Running in front of the armies. Running from the jets dropping bombs. On Georgia. On Florida. On Ohio. The other side with their stolen weapons aimed at the Pittsburgh suburbs. Civilians with their children bleeding in thier arms, screaming at cameras ‘Help me! Oh god, please. They are buried. Please help me thats my parents house!’ and there will be no help. I saw that happen last night. Everyone will be paralyzed. Look at Syria please look. Those are civilized people in a civilized nation. Really. They are NO DIFFERENT from us. Educated, smart, beautiful people with a working political structure, police, infrastructure. They had it. We have it. It can disappear overnight.

In the Orontes River Valley, it’s like the Hatfields and McCoys. 70,000 killed. 4,000,000 refugees. Why won’t they stop? Syria. I knew Syrians. Regime jets, bombs, whoever prevails will inherit revenge. Syria used to be lovely. The land and the people. Now, it looks broken, torn and discarded. They’re shooting farmers and shepherds and children. The bravado is staggering. The posturing and shouting, the fascination with death and destruction. The gruesome smiles. ‘I killed a man in that very doorway. Yes, and that doorway too.’ Horrid, bragging men, shrieking women, terrified fathers and mothers begging someone, anyone, to help them dig their parents out of the collapsed buildings. It’s unimaginable.

Isn’t it? And I’m lying here wondering how MY life is? How I’m going to get by? Shit…I’m good. I’ll take that little bit of insurance money I get and make it work. I’ll get better, I’ll beat this and I’ll go back to work. I’ll buy my nice shirt for $10 and my ‘fancy’ lunch out. And from now on I will thank, who? Christ? No. I’m afraid of god. I don’t want him to notice me. He’s busy over in Syria apparently. No. I’ll thank the gov’t and stability for my peaceful life. I’ll thank myself for speaking up and saying what I believe is right. Not just sitting and hoping I don’t offend people. That’s not how my generation did it. We stood up. My Mom and Dad stood up, with us. They taught us the right way to be a citizen of the world, not just Canada. Not just the USA. They showed us and they led by example. Mom never said better not talk politics and religion. You’ll offend someone.

I’m afraid of god and religion. I always have been. I am a liberal. I am NOT ready to fight. I am not ready to pack the Chevy Lumina and go to my brothers house. To find it in ruins. No. I’m not ready. I’ve got a fight on my hands right now. It’s my battle. I don’t even know if I’m winning. Who do I talk to? Can I get some batteries in this walkie talkie? Who is in charge? How did the other side get those weapons? Where is the army? Who killed my life? Someone help me…


10 thoughts on “Turns out I can’t complain.

  1. I suppose I need to get myself out of the frame of mind that talking doesn’t achieve anything. But having said that, I have plenty of family members who just won’t listen. I’m tried of talking, when someone wouldn’t even be able to repeat back the gist of your last statement because they’ve already loaded up their next salvo of nonsense, I grow weary. Let my actions speak, I don’t have time for brick walls.

    You know, I looked in to gun ownership after we were broken into and a few other things happened on the street to raise some concern. It is possible to own a gun, but what you have to go through to be authorised is quite onerous. You won’t weed out everyone, but it’s good to think that you’ll weed out all the knuckleheads who go in to guns on a whim, and theoretically someone at a responsible gun range is seeing these people on an average of once a month and making them do training a couple of times a year.


    • You know I’m Canadian. We have to jump through major hoops to own a side arm there. We all have rifles and shot guns, though. (Well, not me, actually. But everyone else does it seems.) I know we have a lower murder rate because no one can just pull out a weapon and shoot someone. Rifles are unwieldy and obvious. Shotguns are too. I don’t think there are any requirements here for learning gun safety. The good guys do it, the ones who should, the dummies, don’t.
      As for communication, whew! Loaded topic. I think action needs to be modified with talk. To much talk and nothing gets done. Too much action and mistakes are made.
      Hah…good luck talking to people who won’t listen. We all suffer through that. You’re definitely not alone there. It’s all in how you respond-or don’t respond. I’m a walk away girl, myself.


  2. My boyfriend would like you a lot. We have discussions about this often, particularly what’s happening in Syria now. Just the other day we were looking at the photos of burned corpses of Japanese victims (esp children) in the WW2 atomic bomb tragedy. (At the museum). And he wasn’t even phased because he had already seen so many news snippets and articles and coverage about the war in Syria. (He’s from the Gulf, so he’s pretty passionate about this kind of stuff). Like a teenager with half his head blown off and hanging to the side, brains exposed. And the man who was carrying him in the streets, face completely stricken and, almost crazed, I might say.

    Anyways, enlightening post. It’s such a fresh of breath air, when I find someone who understands and sees from this perspective. There are so many out there, ignorant of the mass crimes and the consequences of such violence all around the world or even within their own borders, although I guess I can’t blame all of them….media and media framing and the hands that rule the “democratic” slash “capitalistic” world surely are the ones with the most blood on their hands.

    Like Mr. P says, someone such as myself won’t change anything by just voicing our thoughts and opinion. But I’m glad you shared your thoughts on this with us today, Laura. So thank you.

    Phew, now let’s get back to the chocolate bundt cakes and cinnamon rolls, shall we?


    • Never never believe that your voice isn’t heard. Just telling the truth to yourself alone, or one or two other people, it is sometimes enough to bring about a giant change. You are great! You participate in daily events and enlighten all of us. Food is GIGANTIC! What you do is important. I know you read my post/rant about food and you know how passionate I am about it. Well, that and fashion. And there have been changes in my lifetime that are positive in both. Fur use and exotic skins are still troubling in fashion but its gotten better. People spoke, people listened. Food too. Did you know Monsanto ‘owns’ the rights to something like 40% of tomato seeds in the world. That farmers have to pay them for the right to grow a crop. Like royalties. And not just tomatoes. These weird Frankenseeds are not healthy. I won’t buy gmo products. The fight now? To have them easily identified in the stores…shoot,it’s one thing after another, isn’t it? chocolate bunt cake and cinnamon rolls? Bring it ON! (I’m going to do a food post and TRY not to rant. It’s a personal challenge!)


  3. “In Syria? Such nice people. Why are they mad at each other? At me? At The Regime? All of a sudden at each others religion? Because if you knew Ali, my friend and fellow waiter at The Top of Vancouver, you’d love him too. He’s Syrian. His family was amazing. Beautiful people too. Nice teeth and hair. Just saying. Stop fighting and sit down for a second. Lets eat. Lets talk.”
    I loved this part, made me smile actually for feeling things are that simple.
    I’m Syrian, I still live in Syria until this moment.. and yes you can’t complain 😉


  4. Sometimes I feel like a pebble being turned in the surf. I’m quite happy being a pebble, because it’s what I am…but I know I would hate it if the Atlantic Empress dumped her oil load on me…I accept that I live in my bubble – it eats my time, it’s relentless in it’s demands..which is why I admire anyone who can step outside the box xxx


    • Those pebbles are the most beautiful and no one in their right mind would think you are in a bubble. I see what you photograph and design. There is a place for art and beauty, the most important place of all. It is smack in the middle of Peace and Quiet and surrounded by Inspiration, Observation and Defiance. Art, music and beauty are always defiant. The most defiant and beautiful of all? The Brits. They are famous for being the toughest nut to crack! Enjoy your peace. We all do. If it weren’t for Britain 70 years ago, Europe might very well BE like the middle east right now. If you ever think you are too much ‘inside the box’ just look at some images of London in 1942. You deserve this peace in your time.


There is no sin except stupidity.

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