Our Little Angels and Demons Eating Disco Fries – stories and essays about where we’re going right and wrong —an excerpt

“So let’s say an angel and a demon head out to a diner for disco fries. Let me apologize ahead of time for the numerous New Jersey cliches and stereotypes that will probably make their way into this book. I’ve lived here all of my life – spending my childhood and adolescence in the southern part of the state and my adulthood in the northern part. So I am on the fence when it comes to the Taylor ham vs. pork roll division, another all-in-good-fun Jersey stumper I’ll explain later. But for now, let’s take a glimpse at our angel and demon diner date.

Angel: “You know, you should really make our person take a few moments and think about her choices before she acts. Her life is going to end up in the…place she uses to eliminate waste which she likes to call the…I choose not to repeat it.” Angel shoves a large forkful of gravy, cheese, and fries into her mouth, leaving remnants on her cheek and white button down.

Demon: “Lighten up there, Mrs. Rogers. She’s got to look after herself and do what she’s got to do. Let her be a screw up, builds character. You know, plenty of angels fall. Hell, look at me!” Demon’s face puckers as she bites down on the lemon from her iced tea glass then wipes her hands with the napkin on her lap.

Angel: “You make it sound like that’s a good thing, Mrs. Manson.”

Demon: “It is! Without me she’d never be able to destress, detach, detox, and most importantly she’d never get laid, get paid, and would give way too much of a fuck about everything.” She picks at small, soggy leftover pieces of French fry.

Angel: “Ugh, are you aware of how disgusting you allow yourself to get? If it wasn’t for me, she would be a complete loser with no compassion, no honor, no articulation, no-”

Demon: Matthew 7:1 my friend. Matthew 7:1. Or does that not apply anymore? From the looks of things, that might have died with Lennon.”

Matthew 7:1 refers to, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” It’s difficult for the average person to find validity in this verse. We judge and we are judged on a cellular level. It’s as unavoidable as a bad internet date or a lousy slice of mall pizza. But what if I said that maintaining disciplined judgement doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person? What if every time we passed judgement, which we all do consciously and subconsciously, we turned it into something productive and illuminating? We can’t make a decision about somebody’s character and then pour resin over it. But we can, and should, make that judgement more malleable. This is where intuition comes into play. Yes, our guts can screw us over in a myriad of ways. But as Albert Einstein once said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Some of the world’s most brilliant minds didn’t find their places in the world by being rationale. If I had to pick a quote that would sum up this whole book, Einstein’s would be it.

It is our intuition that saves us from servitude and disillusionment. It is our intuition that saves us from deception as well as physical, mental, and emotional anguish. Unfortunately, our intuitions are often silenced, and we can blame society all we want. The truth is, we have no one to blame but ourselves because all of this is our creation. As Generation X continues to age and younger generations take the helm, we have to seriously reevaluate how we’re teaching our kids to function as somewhat stable, usually productive, and regularly tolerant human beings. It seems like the gavel drops before our kids ever get a chance to screw up. When they do screw up, through little fault of their own, recovery is either too much of a slippery slope or that slope isn’t slathered with enough butter…”