The Cap of Human Kindness

You can’t see it, but it’s there.

Those people alive and walking around in the world who have had the experience of having their lives threatened by another human being, or been homeless, or tortured– those who have found themselves in a situation where there was no aid– remain for life markedly different from those they walk among.

The rest of us live in an illusion (many of them actually, and good God how I love them all!) of our fellow man’s protection. A warm knit cap made of assumptions about what people will and won’t do covers our eyes, and we’re better for it.

So comfortable is this cap that those who have had it torn off will conjure and wear its ghost. If you miss your cap, come find me, and we can have coffee and pretend you have one. Consider me, even from this distance, one funky piece of yarn laid right on your head and sticking diligently in your hair.

But removed by distance even as I am, I say to you, eyes closed, hands on your shoulders if necessary: that eyes in these cold heads will see things others can’t; that the other webbings of this world cannot snare the feet that they direct; that no obligation can limit one who has seen his own obligations all forfeited on; that nothing can ever again control him without his consent.