Letter to D., or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying …”

I thought of you this weekend when, despondent over the Democrats having shed their attempt to add some sort of time limit to the Iraq War funding bill, I sought refuge in my library.

As I scanned the titles, looking for something to distract me from the frustration I was feeling, I thought about when the two of us were walking down Fourth Street and talking about how voters had responded to some bullshit poll by saying that George Bush seemed like somebody they might want to have a beer with (when in reality, he’s like someone you could go out binge drinking and coke snorting with—at least until he grabbed your keys, insisted that only traitors wear seat belts, wrapped your car around an oak tree without getting a scratch on himself, and left you stunned, bleeding, and carless).

It was with this mind that my fingers found my copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching. Opening it to a random page, I read the first line at the top of the page.

“You cannot hate someone without hating yourself.”

Now, ordinarily that wouldn’t have bothered me, as self-loathing is one of my favorite narcissistic tendencies, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was giving Bush power by hating him. If I was going to hate myself, it was going to be for my own twisted reasons, damn it. So in the spirit of tough love, I now welcome W. back into the warm bosom of compassionate understanding. I realize from his actions that he truly must be suffering.

Although not as much as I would like.

I’m new at this.


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