Outside on the back patio for a bit of delicious sunshine yesterday afternoon, I wedged into the chocolate-brown Target swimsuit of cheap price and questionable boobage exposure. But there was no one else there but me, a bottle of water, SPIN magazine with Jeff Tweedy on the cover ( and some squawky loud bird that sounds like it escaped the zoo, so all was well. The interview with Wilco was quite good, well-written by Jon Dolan and not at all precious and tedious like so much music journalism seems to be. Tweedy and band (and family) come off as down-to-earth, very likable, and interesting, with no particular agenda other than to make good music and get on with real life n’ stuff. I love this little video of Tweedy jamming with his young sons:

I put the magazine down and closed my eyes, the word “agenda” now playing in my head, rolling around, pinging off of thoughts. I at first think of the idea of a tedious list, items read off one by one at some stagnant city council meeting with a single fly buzzing around. But now, err buddy has an AGENDA that seems to carry much more weight than a motion to approve the construction of a shed on Fred Rasmussen’s property. Err buddy got ISSUES, err buddy wants STUFF, err buddy wants everything to be the way it SHOULD BE. Everybody wants you to take on their agendas.

I am not an agenda kind of girl. I hate making lists, even though People Like Lists. I have lots and lots of things I feel strongly about (see: HUNDREDS OF PREVIOUS POSTS), but I don’t have any particular need to convince you to see how I see, or for you to take up my causes, join my clan (I don’t even have a clan), or even give me support of any sort. I trust that you can think for yourself and make up your own mind. I know you have a mind otherwise you would be unable to make the muscle movements to be able to log on to this blog. You can’t use someone else’s mind to do that…yet.

Anyway, sitting there in the heat, wondering WTF that bird is and why it sounded so disturbed, I got to thinking about someone I used to know many years ago. At this time, I was just a young thing and I was still a bit naïve. Alright, I was clueless. I was way over-invested in what others thought of me, and under-invested in what I thought of me – not so unusual, I guess. So this guy I thought so very much of had gone through a bit of a, well, transformation, something similar to the Born Again folks, and was all fired up with spreading the word. Well, good for you, sir. What wasn’t good was that this spiritual revelation did not come with tolerance, kindness, acceptance, or wisdom. For him, it seemed to bring moodiness and a very unpleasant righteousness.

Because I am all about the individual and all that, I didn’t bust him on his views although I surely could have with great, um, vigor. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even get into my own views with him. Live and let live, I said to myself, there’s no real reason to get into this. But my politeness was apparently taken by him to be an upsetting lack of interest or support for his views. He knew I admired him, and knew me enough to know that because of that I would not talk back to him. So he decided to crap all over me one night. Not literally, because that would be a misdemeanor in most states. But he turned on me with no warning, in front of friends, in public, pushing the buttons he knew would hurt me the most. There was nothing I could do but grin weakly, take it, and walk away.

Why care enough to do that? Why? Because I didn’t take on his agenda? Because I didn’t seem to share his beliefs? Why the need to control me or anyone else? Well, of course I know why. Sometimes what underlies the agenda is great fear and insecurity, masked by arrogance and a misguided idea of salvation. If you can’t get others to go along with your thinking, maybe your thinking is weak, huh? Can’t have that. Oh, I was so sad -- devastated, really. I was angry and felt powerless. It took quite some time to sort it out in my head for what it was – weakness on his part, weakness on my part. He should not have done it, and I should not have accepted it, nor cared.

But today, my little agenda is to simply say what I should have said to him then, with a great big ol’ smile and the double-bird salute: FUCK YOU, DUMBY.

Ahhhhhhhh. That felt good.

Quite some time later, he did apologize. I appreciated the gesture, but that’s all it seemed to be, and that is all it was to me. But in the end my old pal did provide me with some valuable and needed life lessons about relationships and over-involvement and the very high cost of maintaining an agenda. I wish him well. Yes, I really genuinely do.

I picked up the SPIN magazine again to continue reading it, but the sweat from my fingers was smudging the print. The loud bird moved on to Belize or something, I finished the last swig from the water bottle, then I packed up my shit and took my ass inside. Agenda: shower.