Potomac had finally decided he was done with labels; he was done being a Buddhist, long done being a Christian and he was done being a Libertarian. “None of these are synonyms for Potomac, so I’m Potomac only.”
His friend Huron overheard him. “Lemme guess, you’re thinking about the label thing again, aren’t you?”
“Yes” replied Potomac.
Huron had been texting but had slipped his phone back in his pocket. He had a good way of giving people his full attention when needed. The two had been friends for a long time and he was able to see that Potomac had serious concerns going on. “Well you know what I think about Libertarians..” said Huron.
“Huron, I wouldn’t say I know what you think, but I know you’re not fond of them. Democratic Socialism is pretty cool too but I’m not that label either, buddy.” leveled Potomac. His tone of voice raised at the end to let Huron know there was resolution in his words but the friendly tones around ‘Democratic Socialism’ had given way to the cliff hanger, the minor key of “but”.
But Huron wasn’t hearing this–not really. He wasn’t hearing the absence of labels, the presence of the void in Potomac’s choice and he wasn’t getting the vibes of equanimity.
Politics and religion thrive in the same way that a AA battery thrives, plus & minus: duality. For every action, a reaction.
As a devout Buddhist, Huron inhabited the glory of patriotism in his religious & political devotion. It wasn’t about anger or even dislike for another religion or political group but Huron had found a jewel in the practice of his faith thru particular systems. He was proud.
After a moment of relaxed silence Huron made his ah-haa exclamation “I’ve noticed lately that it seems like you’ve changed your position.”
“If you mean online, I wouldn’t say I’ve changed position, but in conversation I now hold no position so I’m there to defend nothing.” volleyed Potomac.
Huron considered this distinction deeply for a moment. The two friends had always respected each other greatly, so words were brief and to the point, though what did it for him was Huron’s visualization of Potomac floating away as he spoke. Potomac’s body drifted upward leaving only the sound of his words behind for Huron to relish. It was at this point, like the blazing flash of a giant yellow street sign, all six feet across with words in flat black “STOP AHEAD”, FWAPP! His forehead trembled as he toothed his lip gingerly.
“Potomac, I guess it’s just that I can hear you now.”