In classical mythology, Cerberus was the demon dog who guarded the entrance to Hades, and was also allowed on the bed.
I found an ally behavior pattern that hurt the other day. I’ve probably done it myself, but having felt it first hand, I will not be doing so again. It works like this:
Ally: How are you enjoying the show?
Me: It’s a hard watch. I mean, it’s good, but [description of how systematic oppression is built into the story and language] and it’s being played for laughs and that’s hard.
Ally: Ouch, yeah, sorry. Does it make it better that [ameliorating factor]?
Me: [has to choose a response]
This is just a rephrasing of “But it’s okay because.”
Please don’t do this. I have been watching the whole thing, including the parts which you thought might make it okay. If I’m saying it’s hard, it’s because it did not make it better enough.
You are asking me to say I feel better to make you feel better. That is not my job.
I said the same hard thing to one of the actors after the show, and he just winced and said, “Yeah, that makes sense. Sorry.” Do that. Or ask more questions about how it was wrong. But don’t try to fix how I feel.
lucille clifton. bossa.
my dream about timea woman unlike myself is runningdown the long hall of a lifeless housewith too many windows which open ona world she has no language for,running and running until she reachesat last the one and only doorwhich she pulls open to find each wallis faced with clocks and as she watchesall of the clocks strikeNO