last night jon and i went to see death at a funeral on our date. i was at cedar/lee on thursday for becoming jane, but missed the previews. last night, we saw the previews. i was bawling at the 11th hour preview, despite the constant leo dicaprio narrative. i just can't take it. even before the previews, jon was telling me all about the book i bought him, the world without us, and what i've always worried about, the chapter, "polymers are forever," as it turns out, is the least of it. the depleted uranium situation is much, much worse because the half-life is as long as it will take for the sun to expand and engulf the earth. can you even imagine? and here i've been freaked about the damn ocean full of plastics, which is apparently just passive toxicity in comparison. this is my lead-up to the dark comedy - my husband detailing all the horrible things i dare not even dream, if i can help it, followed by a thirty-second montage of every horrible thing i can ever imagine.
and the war - the war! i grew up with that word that all the grown-ups i knew used with so many deeper connotations, "vietnam," and here are my children and this war and my heart breaks and breaks and breaks every day just worried about it. how i can even live this life, with such struggle and daily worry over clean clothes and credit card bills, when the ap changes the photo of each different poor family as it is ripped apart each moment, half a world away? How can i sit in movie theaters sobbing? how can i continue to attempt joy for these children that mean everything to me? so many problems, mounted so, so high. these trillions spent are our future as well as the past. these trillions are no health care, no safety-net, no clean air, no electric car, no social security, overcrowded classrooms, more wal-marts, less ingenuity, less pay, less food, less earth free of plastic, free for walking, for breathing and sensing what it means to stand in a meadow at dusk...
somehow, aleks and i started talking about the war in iraq this morning. i'm not sure how it happened. first we were saying the new bird-feeder needs to be filled up and put out, but in a different place than the homemade bird-feeders that the birds aren't eating out of. then he started asking about the dead cardinal we saw at aullwood farm in dayton this past may and insisted that i brainstorm ways that the bird might have died. he decided that it was a cat that stuck its claw into the bird, even though i figured the cat might have tried to eat it and there would have been less bird for us to see. then somehow, in all that talk about death, he started talking about army men and how they die and i said that they tend to kill one another in the war. all the while, there's this new poster in our kitchen glaring down at me:
so i tell him about the war in iraq - vaguely - and how the soldiers are there fighting, but that the army men aren't the ones dying the most, though they certainly are dying and it's all very sad. it goes on and on and he tells me how he hates army men, which i try to insist is not the way to go about it because they're just doing what they're told, but it would be nice if it would all just stop. he starts talking again about hating army men - says that he hates all army men in dayton. i tell him his babysitter, nick, in dayton, was an army man and was in iraq for a year and it made him really sad and he'll never be the same again.
then he mentions that 6 army men died today. i think back to the top headline on the ap - 7 dead in a bomb explosion, dozens wounded, but not soldiers, just people. i tell him there was a bomb, but that i didn't think they were army men - which is worse to say because i'm haunted by the image on the ap of what looks like a kid all bandaged and bleeding, hand outstretched and i feel sorry for myself about my stupid hand! - though some of them might have been and there were maybe other army men killed today because that seems to happen every day too. he says that they were killed in friendly fire and suddenly i remember when we were listening to npr in the car yesterday and that yes indeed, some british soldiers were killed in a friendly fire incident and then i have to try to explain what that means, and the best i can come up with is that they killed their friends, which sucks to have to say. i go back to making toast in the other room.
he comes in with is teddy bear, todd, and says that todd hates army men. i ask why and he says because army men kill people. i try to reiterate that we shouldn't hate them, but it would be good if they would stop killing people and come home. he leaves, comes back with his giant evil lego robot with one arm that's a gun and the other that's a spinning wheel of death or something and says that his robot, slammy, killed lots of army men. i ask why, get out of him that he kills them because they kill people, which i try to show the hypocrisy and convince him to just capture them. so slammy is going 'round the world spreading peace by using his special laser that puts army men in jail. sigh. eat your toast.