But could he maintain it? It was so easy to fall back into old patterns. Seemed so comfortable after all. Sitting in pain and bitching about people.
He used this tactic when meeting others. He could see within the first few moments of a way “in”. Most times pessimism worked. A lot of people just like to complain and have hate and negativity deep inside. So you could kind of find an “in”. Win them to your side. Take them prisoner in a sense. Isolate. It’s us against them.
But trying to find the positive way “in” didn’t seem like a bad thing. It felt rewarding to do things in a good and wholesome way. Was always great to find others who felt the same. His problem, well…among many….was that the whole positive and do-good belief thing often had an air of mistrust floating around. Were these people actually walking the talk or were they putting on an act? He would look at them and try to imagine that they were doing everything they could to hold it all together. Like the tourist who spends time in India and comes back all peace and loving and wearing Indian-styled clothes. White people dressed like Indians. And all preachy and peace and love and calm and healing with a sly smile and an all-knowing gleam in their eye as if 6 weeks in India changed everything. And he would look at these people and just imagine them snapping one day and freaking out and their true selves and everything they worked so hard to keep stuffed inside– all the anger, all the hate, all the disappointment and bitterness would just flood out at once. He saw them flipping out. On crowded subway cars. Beads and flowing clothes flying. Red faced and just short of a stroke.
And he, slyly smiling.