Tyler R. Wettig


The genuine allies of my heart have come to be recently represented, as it were, in shades of grey. It began with a gorgeous, grey-haired bombshell that I met at a conference. From there, I became acquainted with an abandoned grey-haired cat named Mister Grey. Finally, I recently found the bridge of my glasses to be fixed with none other than grey tape. These things represent authentic tragedies: the tragedy of the unintentional-hip-sugar-mama-archetype as the apple of the asexual depressive’s eye; the tragedy of the disenchanted, homeless, wise old critter who asks for nothing but bears everything; and the umpteenth tragedy of the broken bridge. These things also share a synchronicity with the controversial “fetish manifesto” Fifty Shades of Grey – a book which has continued to make waves with enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. However, beyond its superficial albeit enchanting prose, those “shades” of grey represent authentic archetypes of abuse: how our libidos abuse us, how society abuses us, and how we abuse ourselves.

Fifty Shades, much like the living tragedies I mentioned above, was not sought out at its inception; it was carefully observed from a distance, and this is what we must do to the disenchanted and despised. I’ve seen people in my life who have lusted to become these things and archetypes, but make no mistake: there are those out there who disingenuously long to elicit pity, passion, and mending. However, in my own experience, these people and situations are rarely authentic like those that I mentioned above. Megalomaniacs, windbags, egoists, demagogues – make no mistake, if they seek you out, do not pity them. Observe and understand the authentic ones from a distance – find them in shelters, or happen upon them as they are stuck in the rain and staring at the sky. Grey matters.

© 2016 Tyler R. Wettig

The Big Windows Review 7 (Spring 2016)