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This Is Not Disneyland
by Nevada Kerr

Perhaps unhappiness is a bad habit for you. You came with a traveling companion who made your trip miserable. He doesn't share the same love and loyalty you have for me and he never wanted to get on that plane. You went to Phoenix to visit your brother. You both drove him crazy the four days you spent there. He couldn't wait for you to leave, even if it meant unburdening the both of you on me. So you drove the six miles to my house. It was probably a grueling six miles for you because he was spewing his venom the whole way.

You had to endure his abuse because it was essential to have him as your traveling companion. The trip was long. Both of you got stuck with each other. Without a third party for him to vomit his negativity on, he took it all out on you. He hated the car trip, he hated the plane trip. He despises the area and the people. He had nothing good to say about any of it. He complained about the Indian reservation that stood in his way, the preserved, sacred territory that made what could have been a two hour trip into six hours. If only they had destroyed that holy ground and built a highway, then he would have been happier.

The "economic depression" of Grant County depressed you both. Neither of you could control your contempt and rage for even two or three hours, let alone, two or three days. You had to put down my house, my neighbors, the village, the surrounding cities, the whole county. You were brought down by the isolation and poverty you drove through but most of all you were appalled by the fact that there were no malls to visit. This is not Las Vegas or Disneyland; this is rough and rustic terrain for people who enjoy being loners and hiking the trails. All the two of you saw was desolation. You refused to see the beauty. The quiet and emptiness forced you to confront yourselves and each other with no third party to attack and spew your rage and grief on. The trip before and after your visit with your brother forced you to be on the road with your husband confined to the small space of a rental car.

You fed on each other's rage until you arrived at my home. Because I live like a Buddhist monk and do not have the accommodations for visitors which I warned you about, you were compelled to get a hotel room. That put you in close proximity with your husband most of the visit. He spent the whole time deriding you and scorning the area. You accepted his abuse, and absorbed his venom the whole trip because you needed him as a traveling companion. You became his captive victim and because he knew you needed him, he could rage and fume without censure.

Nothing here is as despairing and desolate as you claim. The area is big and open wilderness that does not cater to the encroaching herds of civilization. That has spared it a complete takeover by yuppie scum from California. The two chairs at my diningroom table along with some good cheer would have been ample enough to make the trip a happy one but instead it catapulted the two of you into a deep depression. That is a sign of your own personal spiritual crisis.

You mean to tell me you could not spend three days here and be happy despite your reservations about my lifestyle or your "dislike" of the area. No one was forcing you to live my bare bones, monklike existence. No one was forcing you to move to the Deep Woods. All we were expecting was that you would try to enjoy the three days you planned on visiting here. Instead you made the visit miserable for each other and for us.

After the first day of virulent abuse from your husband and his incessant negativity and scorn of the area, I had to ask you to leave. I do not live like that. I am happy that I moved here. It has itīs challenges and I am accustomed to a simple life. It did not take me long to make the rustic environment my own. I am also at a point where I no longer feel the need to defend my life choices.

It is a crucial waste of energy to defend myself against your husband's contempt. Is there anything in life that he feels good about? Are there any human beings or geographical locations that inspire happiness in him? From the look on his face, he is in dire misery and despair. It appears that his life is full of pain and hostility and that the only thing he knows how to communicate or accomadate is his contempt. The abject lovelessness of the man is extremely "unhealthy" for other human beings. How can one live a healthy and happy life in league with such a source of venom and hate? Such an unhappy union can never last thirty years or more without extreme damage being done to both parties. If this is what you choose to live with, that is your decision but you should not expose other human beings to it.

The endless hostility is something that both of you are accustomed to. I don't see how any healthy person could bare the constant barrage of negativity that spews out of that man without serious harm being done to their souls. Getting used to that kind of constant contempt of the world and the people in it is insane. Hate kills love and happiness and destroys harmony. It is no sane way to live.

I accept the fact that you may never visit again. The absence of a mall and other Disney-like distractions is too much for you to bare. Considering how shallow and petty your concerns are, I can't justify your intense discomfort with the area but I accept it.

You couldn't even spend one day at my house, in my diningroom with two chairs without crawling out of your skin. Both of you looked so unhappy and miserable with the bare bones, rural setting and my monklike existence that you were anxious to leave as soon as you got here. My feelings are that you shouldn't visit anyway, not just because you don't want to subject yourself to what you perceive as a long and grueling trip but because I don't ever want to be exposed to your long and grueling internal misery ever again. You both need to control yourselves. Throwing your contempt on others is a profound act of violence and I refuse to expose myself to it ever again.

My best friend of twenty-three years, my home, which I grow to love more each day, and my two beloved dogs await your departure.

Written by © Nevada Kerr
March 26, 2003.

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Created: April 2003 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 18/2/03