Umm, huh, umm [moving my head back and forth], just want to make sure my head's screwed on straight. I can't keep it straight, everything I've been doing lately and saying. With time not being quite itself -- being sped up sometimes -- and an unremitting flurry of meetings, theories, schemes, friends, enemies, not to mention a real lack of understanding of Grange Brotherhood history, politics, and ways, I really don't know where I am.
So it's time to simplify things. I'm the good guy. But I'm still going to have a hard time saying the Brotherhood's the bad guys. Some are, perhaps, some aren't. Probably most of them are good in the same sense that people are generally good. Good until you turn your back on them, then they're the same stew of semi-good and 75% evil that all of us are. Pelaging Dr. Freud!
My own concern is to do like -- who were those guys, the Utilitarians? -- to advocate for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Theoretically, because when my head isn't screwed on straight I wonder why I should care. I've got my guns and sacred swords if everyone gets out of hand. But I hate suffering, that's it, as necessary and unavoidable as it is. So I don't hate suffering at every level, since that would be to deny existence. And whether this is the greatest Creation there could ever be, etc.
So much suffering is simply perspective-driven; wouldn't it all have to be perspective-driven, if there's a suffering soul or consciousness? We've got it that even the Highest suffers on our behalf, which would suggest something intrinsic or objective. Then there's the whole matter of the Highest's choice in this matter, unless we take the Highest out of the realm of being just another character like every other character. If we think of the One somehow without a Two, it's even humorous to think of the One suffering; the perspective of it would be artificial, no doubt to use the wrong word, a thing of choice, chosen, therefore not wholly an intrinsic matter except insofar as Grace and Love are seen as separate from Being Itself. And with that, we're working with lingnastics and putting too much of ourselves into it...
Anyway, there's interesting ways of looking at things.
Then there's gift baskets and gift cards, which is what I really wanted to get to. I'll keep it short. The black cloaked figures along the road between here and the grange have loosened up toward me since that first Friday. This is positive. Like I said in a tweet yesterday, quoting the great song, "Sometimes good guys don't wear white." To further loosen them and find favor, I used some of the money from my savings account to buy for them gift baskets for their wives and/or significant others and gift cards for them. What they were specifically were some gift baskets from a bed and bath store, with towels, bath lotions, powders, etc., and the gift cards were each for $25 from The Olive Garden.
So on my way to the dance, the black cloaked figures in the trees were already trying to wave me on and wave at me. But I slowed down. At first they were looking suspicious because I seemed to be acting suspicious. But, like I do, lifestyle science stuff, I laughed and acted very inclusive -- we're just folks here, you and I -- and called them down from their tree and gave them one of these baskets and cards. You should've seen the look on their faces. Like, No one's ever done anything for me. This is the greatest gesture anyone's ever done for me, etc. I'm waving it all off, but they're still lathering it on thick and at length.
I made good time, though, and got to the grange way early. Since I'm trusted now, I went over to the barn and saw Lemuel brushing the horses and sharpening their shoes. The matrons were putting on their dancing clothes, like a costume party. The various orgy people were going through last minute choreography refinements. The farmers' daughters were cinching up their cutoffs, setting aside what it appears they normally wear, sack dresses and wool socks. And I saw other women and men going through their preparations, unbuttoning the top button to reveal cleavage, or, for the men, setting their zippers askew and pulling out cloth to give the slightest hint of underpants.
When the dance got going, I stayed inside quite a bit, but once in a while I could see the horses heads bob by the window as they were going to the barn or back to the grove. There's a great honor in all this procession work. They put a lot of pomp into it, especially with a fresh kill. Death isn't cheap to these people. They honor it by going to the extra trouble, which, frankly, I think the horses love. They have very little else to live for, and if horses watched TV I'm sure they would cherish the opportunity to see a well-placed shoe in slow motion, perhaps set to the 'Chariots of Fire' type of music.
But I didn't need to see it all this time. I know what an idiot kid looks like, his zipper down, then a horseshoe imprint in his forehead wasting him. Still, it makes me sad to think, One little mistake like that ... fatal ... what a waste! This will be something I bring an end to if I'm ever fortunate enough to be in a position of power with this organization. Because I feel for the parents at home, looking out their window, wondering what's keeping Billy. And to me Billy deserves more of a chance than this even though life sometimes says No.
Inside, I danced with a few of the farmers' daughters, who, while looking as hot as a fireplace poker, are so engaged in their part of allurement that there's very little actual life to them. Plus, I'm way too old for them. Mostly I danced with the matrons. The men trust me now so there was barely any surveillance from the curtains. A few of the matrons were decidedly forward, being aware that I'm now an old hand.
One tipsy gal had her arms around my backside and grabbed each side; there's two sides divided by a line down the middle, I should note, and she simultaneously had a handful of each, with the kind of grip we usually associate with chefs working with pizza dough. I'm thinking I might have some bruises. As close as this put our front extremities, there could've been some misunderstanding, and I'm lucky the horses and husbands were otherwise occupied.
Everything is working out neatly. The level of trust is so high. I had a wonderful time!