ambiguity

September 8, 2010

Germ-Free

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 4:38 pm

It’s 7.30 and class is almost over. I’m desperately trying to explain the effects of alcohol on the skin, and its exceptionally useful qualities to my student.

“Alcohol also kills germs. That’s why people use alcohol swabs to sterlise equipment and wounds and such.”

“Then we should all shower with alcohol!”

I put my palm to my face. She goes on to suggest a life in a germ free environment. The next 5 minutes is spent explaining the impracticality of her suggestions. To live in a germ-free environment is not being able to run about, or play, or go to the mall. Normal life would be impossible.

“Can! Ask the government! They will make it happen!”

Before I can help myself, a loud sneer makes its way out my vocal cords. I can barely look at her as I mutter my reply.

“Nah, they can’t. They won’t.”

“Yes! Can!”

She’s smiling, widely. The naivety and innocence of a child is not, as many suggest, beautiful. It is foolish. It is ugly, because in the face of overwhelming odds, it fights to stay afloat the sea of cynicism that expands with every second. Like a gazelle staring down a pride of hungry lions, it gets mauled, and eventually dies in a pool of its own blood. Where’s the beauty in that?

But it makes me wonder. Was I ever this hopeful? Had I ever placed that much trust in the government? And if I did, where did that trust come from? And where, oh where, has it gone? Losing faith in a government is unlike losing faith in a pizza delivery service. The delivery man may be caught in a jam, but he’ll deliver one way or another. And if he sends you the wrong order, you can always complain to management or provide feedback. Improvements may not be immediately visible, but at least you’ll get a free pizza for your troubles.

I clear my throat, and move on. Some questions are just not worth the effort.

Advertisements

Blog at WordPress.com.