As the 2016 campaigns, primaries, and debates waged on, I came to believe that something was seriously amiss in this country. Exaggerations became lies; insults became threats. I felt as though the country's id was trying harder than usual to rip a hole in our traditional veneer of civility.
Why do our eyes shut and our jaws clench when we watch the torture scene in The Marathon Man? It has to be more than just our collective fear of dentists. In that scene, Dustin and Larry dramatize one of our most primal needs – our need for safety.
Saying goodbye is often difficult, especially to a long-time companion. We’ve been together for nearly 60 years now, since long before I could even speak. You comforted me when Mom first had to abdicate her feeding duties to my disabled father and my babysitter in order to support our family. I quickly learned to find solace in the substance rather than in the provider. You comforted me when Mom or Dad or the babysitter or Grandma or my aunts or my uncles or the neighbor would (always with good intentions) pacify my yearning for attention with a cookie or a donut or a candy bar. I quickly learned that I could snatch a little more attention and a little more comfort by asking for just one more (and maybe just one more).