I stood on the highest rung of a (small) ladder years ago, my back to the open air, arms crossed over my chest and eyes closed. All I had to do was lean back and plummet below into the arms of my high school classmates. It was the ultimate game of trust. It was actually encouraged by my teacher.
Trust your peers, my teacher cooed. But you know what I thought?
Trust my peers? You mean the same kid who sits behind me in English, sleeping through the latest lecture on Shakespeare? The girl I haven't spoken to since 9th grade when we were torn into separate social circles? And that other guy? I don't remember his name. But, him?
I don't trust willingly. My philosophy isn't innocent until proven guilty, it's "I wouldn't trust you with a lighter until you prove you're not going to burn my house down." My trust needs to be earned. You don't give your dog a treat until he stops peeing on the floor, right? My point exactly.
I trusted once. And then he got drunk, slipped, fell and landed in another girl's... well, you get the idea. Needless to say, he peed on my floor and I ripped the treat right out of his salivating mouth. Now I keep that treat safely in my pocket - just in case.
Well, "just in case" is upon us. I've reached the inevitable fork in the road - to trust or not to trust. That, apparently, is the question. The Devil sits on my right shoulder whispering all the things I don't want to hear. He more or less reminds me of the species I'm about to trust - Man. The Angel is on the other shoulder, aiming his shotgun at the Devil.
And I'm ducking in the middle.
Is there a secret to trust? A pill I can pop every day to numb my mind of the reasons not to? Or should I learn to trust until proven untrustworthy? That might be asking a lot.
But I leaned backward that day in class, and I didn't plummet to the floor. I was caught. By about 14 pair of trusting arms. So I think I'll just close my eyes, cross my fingers, and lean back.
Shut up, Devil.