SuddenlyGay

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Heart of Stone?

I write a lot about things I find uncomfortable or cruel or unfair. Maybe one eventually becomes desensitized to injustice as it is witnessed and experienced over and over. I haven’t become desensitized, in fact I seem to become more sensitive to the discrimination I see and feel and find. First I will share an experience I had at an Office Max store last week. I went alone, looking my heterosexual self, so the experience had nothing to do with LGBT issues. It has a lot to do though with the ignorance, thoughtlessness and idiocy that fuels all injustice, cruelty and discrimination.

First of all, most of the employees at the store were kind. Three times someone asked me if I needed assistance; three different salespeople offered to help me. I found on my own, exactly what I was looking for including a ream of white copy paper which was one sale. I arrived at the check-out without having to wait. The young man at the register was immediately friendly. He traded the ream of paper I was buying though for another wrapped in pink paper, saying it was the same paper, and a portion of the sale was for breast cancer. He said they were trying to get rid of them. I said that was fine.

He kept talking, saying he had two family members with cancer in the last year. With barely a breath taken, he told me that one family member had been diagnosed with cancer in February but was declared cancer free by the end of the year.

Though I sometimes wonder at the flooding of pink and news of breast cancer while heart disease, the number one killer of all of us, women included and Lupus, such a varied and insidious disease, gets far less mention and attention, I too have lost a friend to breast cancer. I  told him that just this March my mother died of colon cancer. He seemed not to hear me.

He didn’t look up but as he handed me my bag of purchases said,

“My other relative with cancer, my uncle, he wasn’t a christian and started drinking again and he died. It serves him right.”

I was speechless. I took my bag and walked slowly from the store.

Did he mean his uncle deserved cancer because he wasn’t a christian? Or because he drank?

Did he mean his uncle deserved to die because he wasn’t a christian or because he drank alcohol? Maybe because he was an alcoholic?

 

There is little else I can think to say even now, other than how on earth can someone think, believe, feel and speak in that way?

 

The next thing I will write about today deserves a post of its own. It deserves a parade and fireworks and angels and trumpets. Stay tuned.

 

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October 25, 2010 - Posted by | The Straight Me | , , , , , , ,

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