Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Winding Sur-Reality

Last night had an ethereal quality about it. I don't know if I was just exhausted from a week with the kids, work, etc and it affected my perception or what...

I got off work, headed home- talked to Jon, who was sick. Bubba and Tarya were supposed to go to "The Bullet" tonight for drinks and pool. I figured I would wing it and see. I picked up Lauren and she went shopping for part of Amy's birthday present with me. We went to Toys R US and I got her some bubble toys and a pair of Barbie Roller-skate shoes that she has been wanting since we got Taylor some for Christmas. I will get the rest tomorrow.

We decided we didn't feel like Beers at the bullet= and she needed a break from Tarya the way I needed one from Bubba probably. We ended up going to Uncle Chien's for some chinese and then went to see what Jon was doing. He was sick as a dog and in bed by this point, although this did not stop him from drinking his three last beers.. So I threw in Kingdom of Heaven and kicked back. I fell asleep during the movie. Usually Thursdays are my 'blow off steam' days since I don't have the kids= but I really was exhausted. I woke up a little before the movie ended and kind of drifted in and out of consciousness. Lauren was doing the same. I guess her finals this week have kept her sleepless. The movie ended and I took her home.

I stopped in at a T&C for a snack and as I was paying out, the checkout guy just said to me, out of the blue- (I was the only customer there) "I don't know what to do- I feel like I am going to lose control, man". He had a haunted look, but I really wasn't paying attention, and I just gave a rote reply- "I know Exactly what you mean, brother" He said that no, I didn't and he proceeded to talk in a rambling manner about his wife, and infidelities of the past, and possible infidelities of the present. Told to anyone else, he probably would have seemed like a raving lunatic- But I recognized that look, that emotion, that desperation in his voice, his cry for help. A twinge of pain crossed my heart, but a sense of peace washed over it, almost immediately, surprising even myself for a second.

I listened to him for about five minutes, not interrupting, eating my snack there at the counter. His phone started ringing- He said it was her, but he couldn't answer it, his eyes were full of his fear of the truth. That truth that dances wildly in the corner of your eye, gradually moves into clear focus. It was the same old story, made more painful by the fact that he had 3 kids. He KNEW she was cheating- and she was basically throwing it in his face, but he didn't want to know. He couldn't wrap his mind around a concept his heart COULD NOT accept.

He rambled about his kids, his love, his desire to keep his family together. I stopped him there- "You're talking to a man who has Custody of his kids because of the same situation."

His eyes went a little wide. I continued, "When you can't take it anymore, you'll leave. When your heart can't blind your eyes any longer, you'll know it's time to go. You'll survive. Do right by your kids and you can't go wrong. You CAN See the truth. It's there for you to see. When you can ACCEPT it- you will know what to do. Don't let it keep you in Hell a second longer than it has to." He just kind of stared, openmouthed for a minute, then his eyes unclouded. I knew Exactly what this man was going through.

That weird sense of peace was like a tangible spirit, surrounding me as I went on : "I KNOW. You know it too, deep inside."

I gave him a wry smile that I hoped conveyed that hard-fought tranquility I now possessed. I almost wanted to shake his hand, or give the poor bastard a hug. But I just said "It's a hard road- Good Luck, man" And I walked out into the night, hoping I may have kicked him into the gear in a man's head that will finally shift you out of neutral.

I smiled to myself- so I guess, this is peace of mind? It was a long road back from Hell. Looks like I made it.

1 comment:

James said...

I hate having a face that people can see my calm sanity in.

In other words, that same scenario seems to happen to me all the time. At some point, I'm just going to be like "dude, seriously, you're the umpteenth person to tell me they're going to kill themselves today. Not to sound insensitive, but can I just get my pizza and soda and call it a night without all the fucking drama?"

But what stops me is that I recognize that from these people's perspective I'm the Omega Line. I'm it. If I don't say the token "relax, it'll be ok, trust me, I know" the manager's going to find a set of motionless legs sticking out from the pizza oven in the morning.

Keep holding up the standard for us regular joes with easy faces and understanding mentalities. It's a hard boulder to push up the hill alone.

Fantastic work, again.