CD Number: 5
Track Number 15
Song: “Fall on Me” by R.E.M. from Life’s Rich Pageant
I still don’t know what I did wrong that day.
It was just how I was raised. “If you see something, say something.” It was everywhere. On posters. On billboards. People I respected speak the slogan over meals. So I did. I did as I was raised.
Because I had done a lot more than seen something. I had felt something! And not just some little something either. It was a big honking bit of…something! It hit me right on the head. Bam! And on the scale of reasons to say something, it is my opinion that feeling something, and by feeling I mean physically not just “divining”, is considerably higher than seeing something. If seeing is the yellow, than feeling has to be at least orange. Maybe vermilion? Anyway, it was a big deal and I did what I was supposed to.
I said something. I told someone. I told everyone! I was calm and reasonable, but serious so everyone knew how important the situation. I was no tourist here, I took this responsibility very much to heart. And by midday, everyone knew. So, I guess you could say I was efficient on top of everything. I followed the rules, I did so in a way that took the duty seriously, and I did so in a rapid, effective way. That sounds to me like someone who deserves to be honored. Not key to the city honored, although I would certainly accept, but restaurant gift card and pat of the back honored. That does not seem out of bounds at all.
Yes, I was wrong. I get that. I do. But I’m not a scientist! It was not my job to investigate or verify or whatever the hell else that jerk said I failed to do. I was just supposed to tell people, and I did. I can’t be blamed because everyone else freaked out. Not my fault. Not at all. It is time everyone else take some responsibility for how they acted. Never once did I say, “We really must loot now!” Nor did I recommend, “Everyone, this is the moment to confess your secret fantasies, lies, and affairs. You may not get another chance.” That was all of them. I just delivered the message. What they chose to do with it, well that’s their damn problem.
Unfortunately, the elders seem to feel differently. They say I was “foolish” and I “ginned up a panic” without “a shred of evidence.” And thus, I must wear the stone of shame.
I say fine to that. FINE! I know I did right. I am not the first to be cast out for doing what was asked because of others’ shame and sadly, I will not be the last. But I will not sacrifice my dignity to make them all feel better. Feel superior. Little was, is, and will be a proud name and no silly overreaction on the part of everyone else will change that.
And the next time the sky falls? Well, I guess someone else will have to let them know.
So, what do you think? Enjoy it? If so, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@UnGajje) for various bon mots and links directing you to the newest updates on this site as well as my other various writing gigs (Marvel, Complaint of the Week at the Living Room Times, and New Paris Press, set to debut shortly although information may be available before then here). If not it was not so enjoyable for you, feel free to tell me that too. And still check me out at all those things above. One of them you are bound to like more.
Feedback or questions? Offer them up here or drop me a note at the aforementioned Twitter account, tim[dot]g[dot]stevens[at]gmail[dot]com or Facebook. I am especially looking for messages with song suggestions for the four "fan guided" posts.