I sip this same tea that my girlfriend gave me for Christmas. I re-steep and re-steep the tea. She’s in Haiti for the week.She’s doing missionary work. Years ago, I went to Haiti, I met her sister and father, then sort of Facebook stalked her, turned out we’re really compatible and I want to marry her. That’s the long story, shortened. Funny, why would I be shortening the story for tea drinkers? I should be shortening it for the coffee drinkers. Anyway-
She lives in Virginia, I live in Ohio, it’s a long distance relationship. One would expect that I wouldn’t mind her being in Haiti, where this whole crazy thing got started, but two problems-
1) I am used to being in contestant contact with her, and Haiti doesn’t have a lot of communication infrastructure. Some fellows might be put off by a female that texts or emails or calls at least once every two hours during waking hours. And I’m one of them. But not with her. Now I drink her tea, watch things on Netflix, and try not to transpose my own emotions with those of the fake people who do fake things in movies.
2) Haiti is hell. Haiti was Hell’s next door neighbor when I went. Then her earthquake ripped the country up. Imagine the worst bedroom you’ve ever been in… You know the kind that mom says “It looks like there was a hurricane in here,” then add a real hurricane. It’s a lot like that except with lots of human beings and their lives. The UN and the Red Cross and lots and lots of American money don’t solve the problem of evil people and educating people to stand on their own. This is what worries me. America has law and order because people are used to following law and order, and therefore generally do. Haitians are not used to following law and order, and now there is no law or no order, even if someone wanted to follow.
If she’s in Virginia and something bad happens, I can put the key in the ignition, drive there, and sort things out. Haiti’s problems that would come her way would be exponentially worse than what Virginia would bring her, and I can’t just drive over there and sort out her problems. I can’t be there to protect her. I want to go to Hell to make sure she doesn’t know she’s there.
I drink her tea, I watch Netflix, and I try my hardest not to think of her at all.
I steep and re-steep this as I watch No Country for Old Men, my favorite example of American culture’s answer to the Zen koan. I use GChat to talk to my girlfriend and try not to tell her I’ve packed a bag and I’ll be driving the few hundred miles between us, and probably loosing my job in the process.