And I got an email from a friend about the whole Murfreesboro mosque situation and some ugliness she'd read about in one of the national papers, and she said, "Right now, I'm embarrassed to be from Tennessee."
I get what she's saying, but I'm never embarrassed to be from Tennessee. Oh, I'm embarrassed that these assholes would rather be mean and scared than not, but I'm embarrassed for them, not embarrassed to be associated with them.
I was up at the store last night — Tony's Foodland — and there was this old, old guy with two puppies on leashes. He was kind of hunched over and more tottered than walked, and the puppies were making happy tangled loops around him. And you know how it is when you see some old white guys, and you're not sure if they're mean or not? And I'm not talking just jackass mean, I'm talking the kind of mean that makes you hurry away to avoid them, because if they catch you looking, they will get even somehow?
From a distance, he had that look about him, like he could have been mean, like it might have been too bad for the puppies that they were stuck with him.
But as I got closer, I saw how gentle he was with the puppies and he was talking so excitedly about them to anyone who would listen. I thought, at first, he might have come up to the store to give them away. But when I got closer, I understood, he brought them to show them off. He was proud of the bouncing tangle of puppies at his feet.
There's probably some cloying lesson in this. But fuck it. I'm not trying to impart one. Just that I was having the kind of week where I wanted to throw up and punch someone simultaneously. There are jackasses afraid of their neighbors, sure, but there are also old men delighted with puppies. So what are you going to do?
I'd rather throw my lot in with the moments that include puppies.