It was a tumultuous season of joy and pain; of a soul on ice and a soul on fire. You have to understand that the summer was a perfect storm. It was a global warming induced environmental manic period-the likes of which Colorado had never seen. It began with the largest blizzard in recorded history on May 23rd. It was the type of Blizzard that only happens in Colorado. An intense bout of flurries crushing into windows and rattling even the sturdiest of homes, yet, every so often, the flurries would subside, the sky would clear and it would be 40* outside with blue skies. This lasted, on and off, for several weeks.
All during this period of weather phenomenon there was the age old fight between the Christian Right and what some may call the Liberal Factions of Colorado Springs. It started, as it often does, at two local high schools. In one, the largest and most diverse high school in the city, the health and physiology department decided to have a spokeswoman from Planned Parenthood come and teach several classes on Sexual Education. Now, in many areas and in many schools this would not have been a problem. You would think that in a school where race relations were good, people of all faiths were accepted and celebrated and the animosity between the people who took the bus, the people who drove their rundown, rusty and gas-guzzling cars and those who drove their BMWs was kept to a minimum, no one would really be up in arms about a little sexual education. Though you can always expect two or three families not wanting their future teen mothers attending any sex ed class for fear that it get their kids thinking about sex, as if they weren’t already. But a few optional classes created a drama that was the stuff of b-movies on the Lifetime channel.
It was at a city council meeting on sex education in Colorado Springs, filled with women wearing “support the troops” shirts and wearing WWJD bracelets that I met an oddly dressed young man. He had a condescending smirk on his face, obviously enjoying the politics of a city with more churches than businesses and a military family for every civilian family. I asked him why a disinterested man far too young to have a child in high school gave up a Friday afternoon to sit in on a city council meeting. He replied that he wanted to see what this city was really like. I tried to hide the momentary anger at the idea that this one debate epitomized the city as a whole. It was the same kind of anger you get when you rant about how you are annoyed by your little sister you are and some else starts to agree with and then rants about how annoying she is. Nobody makes fun of my city but me!
The anger subsided as I gazed into his eyes. Not that they were so beautiful that I lost my breath, or that they off colored or lazy. They were just odd; in some sort of awkward yet intriguing way. As if his body betrayed his eyes. That fascination subsided quickly as well. Sensing my momentary defensiveness he said “loyal much?” Yes!
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Watching a cold war between the left and the right and crossing my fingers that a fist fight will break out,” he remarked coolly again, “what are you doing here?”
“I work for planned parenthood” I shot back.
“Really? How many times have your tires be slashed?”
4 times! “Slashed tires? Do you really think this town is that bitter? This is just an angry mob of parents, this is nothing new. People have gotten relied up like this all across the country for junk food in the cafeteria, the nativity scene during Christmas or even ESL classes.
He didn’t buy it.
“Are you trying to convince yourself or me?” He said with a smugness that took a level of arrogance I had never seen before. So I shoot him a look faster than a bullet and walk away thinking that I couldn’t remember the last time I was this ticked off. I ran into him a little later though