Monday, October 4, 2010

There Are Climbers, and Then There Are Leapers

We were friends even though we sat at different lunch tables. People didn’t seem to understand that. When they would say things and I would defend her, they looked at me cross-eyed.

“She’s my best friend,” I’d say.

They’d look at me, then look at her sitting halfway across the room and raise their eyebrows.

We were different. We dressed differently, had different political and religious beliefs, different taste in guys and friends and different goals.

But we both wanted to win, and we were dedicated to helping each other do it.

I wanted to climb. People are more comfortable with climbers because little battles don’t threaten them.

She wanted to leap.

When an individual sizes up a crowd, the crowd sees it as hubris: destined for failure and asking to be humbled.

The crowd throws stones. And she watched them fly past her, unflinching, and waited for her chance to soar over everyone.

It’s the climbers that can stand with the leapers. I’d never throw a stone. I might even be able to stop a few. It's hard watching people look at her and see insanity.  All I see is strength.

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