(An excerpt from my book Bonsai Coyote)
English, Per. 3
The Dark and Tantalizing Tendrils of Denial
Denial is a strange and wondrous thing. It may seem counterintuitive, but denial has been deliberately woven into our DNA; a hunter had to believe that a sharpened stick was a proper weapon against a bison or his family would never eat. And the hunter that followed his dying, bison-gored friend had to believe that this time his stick would work.
But denial isn’t always helpful. For example, my friend’s mother really needs to stop denying the existence of her ever-increasing mustache. It’s getting hard to look at, and I’m not saying American voters are shallow but a thorough waxing would undoubtedly help her political career. In fact Denial is a key element of the modern American political process. We have to remain blind to the fact that both candidates are dementors in fancy suits, waiting to pounce so they can suck the soul out of the Constitution. But maybe that’s a little bleak for an expository essay.
Denial is also an elemental part of love; you’re never going to kiss if you think about him trimming his nose hairs and sitting on the potty. And when true love is lost, as in Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem, The Raven, sometimes denial is the only thing that can keep a person going in the face of gasping despair.
Unfortunately for Poe’s narrator, it’s difficult to remain in denial with a raven repeatedly screeching ‘Nevermore’ in your face.