This post threatened to be a rant. I had already written a few graphs going off on “weird times getting weirder” and “no end in sight” and reports of this disease “coming in waves”. And I raged that some are now blaming another country and murmuring about punishment. The blog turned to bile. And I hated every word. This writing is meant to celebrate the things that raise our spirits when we need it the most. Instead it was getting dark and frustrated and angry.
And then the dog fell asleep.
I found his choice of pillow amusing and I tweeted about it. And along came a quick response, “I adore dogs.” And then, “He’s reading.” Without fanfare or celebrity or preciousness, Joe R. Lansdale was enjoying my dog.
I decided to play and replied that Sonny was holding up my social distancing reading marathon. “Well, he’s tired,” replied the master storyteller. We tweeted back and forth a few times, celebrating the glory of canines. It was a simple kindness, a shared pleasure, a couple of chuckles. And it was everything.
At risk of being reduced to as crazed fan, please allow me to explain. The Popcorn King over there did not do this as a plank in some marketing plan, or as part of a promotional tour, or to sell his new book. He responded because he got a kick out of a photo as so many of us do, and said so. Simple. Kind. Humane.
All of these quiet qualities are in high demand these days. We don’t even realize how much we need them until they are sent our way free for nothing and we glimpse hope for a moment.
Be kind. Be humane. It goes longer these days than we realize.