I've always taken it on myself to spread a little chaos in this world. A level of unpredictability, a wry observation, that little bit of snark. I'm not a pessimist or a cynic, but it helps make optimism more realistic. But sarcasm, irony, and snarkiness are not sincere. There is a common element to everything I do, and it is this: I never mean it. Everything I do, every word I utter, has plausible deniability.

Tonight I was having dinner with an old friend. I was talking about socioeconomic justice--a cause about which I'm legitimately concerned. I'd finished a passionate tirade on the subject and he just smirked and made a joke--the same type that I always make about the subject. Joking about wealth and poverty. Did he get it? Did he understand I was serious? Was he just laughing because I laugh at it--because it's too serious not to joke about?

Maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe sometimes you can't laugh about some things. I smiled wryly and said "Yeah, exactly," and the waiter came and refilled my coffee, and he talked for a while about something else. I provided the irreverence he desired. I decided not to worry about it. What's life but a series of confusions?

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