At first I feel a little guilty for dropping her off on other people to take care of her, but one of the daycare employees tells me now that Flayla has a boyfriend, a black lab who plays with her almost constantly all day – they also share a kennel during nap time, but they never nap. Flayla has found a community, as well as her family – and I think she’s actually kind of a happy dog.
I have found a community too – in my girlfriends, in some of my ex-boyfriends and in my accepting of my culture’s contingency.
Remember how Sartre said the “Nausea” was contigent – that the culprit was actually “Eventuality”? Roquentin’s nausea was caused by the fear of not knowing what was going to happen. At the end of the book, Roquentin’s ex-girlfriend comes back, only to leave him again. And the novel’s protagonist comes to make peace with it.
I’ve kind of made peace with the circumstances of my life too. Life is unpredictable and dangerous. I don’t pretend it’s not dangerous anymore. It’s dangerous for a woman to be out in public – it’s dangerous for her to drink; it’s dangerous for her if she doesn’t. It’s dangerous for her to engage with other people.
Sometimes people take care of each other and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they violate each other.
There’s nothing that I can do to make it so that it won’t be dangerous for me to be around other people. People hurt.
There’s freedom in that, though. There’s freedom and peace of mind in knowing that I am not other people. I am not the mean things that people say about me. I am not the mean ways they treat me. I am not a person they’ve abandoned – I’m not defined by the people who come in and out of my park.
I’m just my park. I’m a beautiful, mostly well-maintained, natural park. I’m not the image of a park, the reputation of a park, the enjoyment people have gotten out of the park, consensually or not consensually. I’m a living, breathing, and loving park. My anxiety belongs to the world. I belong to God.