Heroes and Villains

Everyone’s great cause
projects them as our future’s therapeutic hero.
So all against our health-intending causes
reject us as potential victimizers,

The trick is to see antagonists,
sources of trauma,
as part of protagonist causes you,
resource for therapy,
actively seeking out each other
as possible co-redeemer heroes
resolving differences together,
with good faith
in divinely interrelated sacred causes.

I live with a fifteen year old daughter
with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
and the emotional intelligence
of a five year old
on her best day.

This provides daily exercise
practicing this trick of sharing my protagonist identity
with her antagonistic causes,
wants and egocentric demands,
regarding her sacred and natural causes,

Which usually have something to do with eating
and exercise
and baths
and diaper changes
and positive social interactions,

Usually with YouTube comrades
with sacred and natural causes
involving eating impolitely
and dancing while singing obnoxious songs, repeatedly
and personal hygiene issues, offensively
and other humorous entertainment productions.

She most loves to find ways to embarrass me.

I had to put a lock on the bathroom door,
high enough so she can’t lock me out
but just right for me to lock myself in.

After a few times of having her follow me upstairs
to see if she might catch me using the toilet
or, even better, naked in the shower,
with the door unlocked,
and participating in an ongoing dialogue about privacy rights,
more relentless than merely ongoing,
heated discussions about why she is outside
while I am hiding inside,

I announced to her,
one day,
as I was heading toward the stairs,
that I was going upstairs to poop.
“Do you want to come and watch me?”

She looked up from her military-grade
bomb-proof laptop,
started to get up off the couch,
then sat back down,
Why would I want to do that?

when I stopped hiding
I was no longer her sacred cause to seek.

I suppose we might imagine larger stages
for co-redemptive ecopolitical invitations.
It helps to have a healthy sense of humor
about your own divinely-inspired protagonist causes
for true peace and authentically restoring justice.

Showing your antagonists,
your deniers,
your ugly offenders,
your sources of trauma,
and intrusive curiosity
this more therapeutic side
of your good-humored position
may be just enough
for them to realize
you’re not quite so humorless and hopelessly abusive or neglectful
of their healthy included best interests
after all.

maybe it’s OK
to lighten up
and watch to see who laughs last
and longest

as in this domestic case of bathroom privacy,
laugh quietly
and more peacefully


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