I’m trying to more positive and carry less hate in my heart.
It’s a fuckin struggle.
But I was recently moved by a quote I heard: “To understand is to forgive.”
I couldn’t remember who said it, but google tells me it’s some guy named Blaise Pascal who was French and enjoyed a mullet with his receding hairline. He was a child prodigy who grew to be an influential mathematician, inventor, physicist, and philosopher. The only thing he wasn’t excellent at was living past the age of 39. He sounds like a great guy, one who encouraged kindness, empathy, and experiencing God through the heart rather than through reason.
He also sounds like the friend who’d annoyingly suggest a meditation app when you desperately need to vent about your asshole downstairs neighbors.
‘Cause my neighbors.are.monsters. When I hear them snore, fight, or loudly belch beneath me, I feel my heart shrivel just a little more, threatening to turn, once and for all, to stone.
But maybe my hatred for them would lessen if I could do like Blaise Pascal and find a way to understand, maybe even forgive, their wretched existence.
I’m gonna imagine Blaise and I are buddies, chillin’ with some wine and a baguette, having an old fashioned gab sesh, and see what wisdom he might impart.
Me: Blaaaaiiiiisssseee, you just don’t get it! These people are torturing me with their awful relationship!
Blaise: All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
Me: Exactly! Anytime I try to sit quietly and read, they think it’s time to have a deeply disturbing fuck-fest that makes me believe sex is just Satan punishing people. And normally I’m, like, Captain Sex Positivity!
Blaise: Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Me: So you agree that they’re evil?
Blaise: Kind words don’t cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
Me: Yeah, Blaisey, I know I should be nicer. But it’s not just the gross sex, which actually sounds like he’s scream-vomiting on her, by the way…Oh God, maybe he actually is vomiting on her.
Blaise: Hey, different strokes, ya know?
Blaise: I mean, man’s sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder.
Me: I’m only sensitive to the sounds of him puking on her because I think it’s symptomatic of their entire relationship. He’s always yelling at her! They fight non-stop! And the only time I’ve ever heard her voice was yesterday when she held out the “you” in “FUUUUCK YOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU” long enough for me to wonder if she’s a trained singer or oboe player ’cause that breath control was fire. I’m a trained actor, and I can’t even do that.
Blaise: Do you wish people to think well of you? Don’t speak well of yourself.
Me: Look, this isn’t about my amazing career, ok? Their relationship is really unhealthy and there is no way that they’re happy.
Blaise: Love has reasons which reason cannot understand.
Me: Ugh….I know. I mean…I’ve been in some pretty unhealthy relationships myself. It was just a few years ago that my neighbors were probably thinking the same things about me. Not the puking on someone during sex, that doesn’t suit my particular needs, but…. my neighbors were probably praying that my boyfriend and I would break up so that they could get some sleep without being interrupted by yelling and door slamming. I think that’s why my downstairs nieghbors’ fighting makes me so sad. And repulsed. ‘Cause I know it’s not gonna get better between them and they’re just going to make each other (AND ANYONE WHO LIVES AROUND THEM) miserable. I want her to get the hell out of there and start making a happier life for herself.
Blaise: Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons.
Me: You’re right, B, I do feel like a different person than I was back then. And maybe she’ll come to her senses and they’ll break up soon and I won’t have to see that creep around my apartment building anymore. Did I tell you he looks like a bull-dog and a hippo got smashed together?
Blaise: I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world.
Me: Good point, I guess that was pretty mean of me.
Blaise: But you’re totally right, that dude is garbage and you have every right to hate him forever.
Me: Thank you!
Blaise: Il n’est pas certain que tout soit incertain.
Me: Absolutely. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Blaise: Did you just get that from Moulin Rouge?
Blaise: Do you know what it means?
I feel more virtuous already.