Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Being unforgiving is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."--from "On the Wings of a Dove" episode from the show Ghost Whisperer

It's ironic that I should hear this line on an old episode of this show. Yesterday I ran into an old friend that I have not seen in years, and I can't describe how I felt, though anger was not the first rushing emotion, even though I always imagined it would be if I had a chance encounter with this person. After our brief conversation, I sat in my car and anger crawled out from whichever corner it had hid in when I first met eyes with this person. It knocked me in the face, and then sadness came, like a suffocating blanket I couldn't escape. I realized that I missed my friend. I realized that all the bad feelings I'd harbored for years had not disappeared; if anything, they had poisoned me. I needed to talk to a mutual friend of ours, someone who knew us well when this old friend and I were close friends, and she equated the experience as hunting for something important in the back of a refrigerator.You have to pull everything else out until you find just what you need. And that's what it was like - pulling out one emotion after the other, one memory after the next, until I found the important item - the memory of who this person and I once were as buddies sharing secrets, as young dreamers looking onward well beyond our years, as friends who wouldn't break apart when laughter stopped holding us together. I regretted that this person had missed so many years of my life, and vice versa. Unforgiving. Aren't so many of us like this? It is poison, though. It gets inside you and it doesn't leave until you find a remedy. I think I'll contact this old friend. In all honesty, I'm glad I saw this person again. I'm glad all is well with this individual. Admitting that, I believe, is the first step toward something better than poison - a cure.
"If every woman told a man she was going to marry what she really thinks this would be a nation of old maids." --from the character Effie played by Deborah Kerr, in the 1953 movie Dream Wife with Cary Grant

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

“What? You couldn’t lift this?”-- a campus safety officer talking about a tree limb that fell on my car

So we had a huge summer storm yesterday, not unusual for the south, especially not unusual after a sticky, “lung-cloggingly” hot day. The storm lasted about 30 minutes, barricading me in my office, which was fine because I was waiting to give a public reading of one of my stories anyway, so I had to be there. The reading went well. What didn’t go well, however, was the incident with the tree limb in the parking lot of the college. It broke one of my windshield wipers and scratched the paint on the left side of the car, and the bottom of the limb was behind my back tire, as if to say to me, Heck no, I’m not letting you leave, punk!

So I called campus safety, told the man I couldn’t move the limb, and I couldn’t, not easily. This young officer arrived in his little golf-cart like vehicle, pulled up beside me and said, “What? You couldn’t lift this?”

My response: “I wasn’t going to.”

In hindsight, maybe I should have said to him what I said to those teenage babbling brooks from an earlier blog entry: “Seriously!”

Or, said this: “What part of ‘I can’t lift this tree limb’ didn’t you understand?”

I know what you’re thinking, “Now, Ms. First Line, that would not have been a nice thing to say to a person who was trying to help you.”

That’s why I didn’t say it.

But I gave him a scowl, and watched him throw the limb aside then survey my vehicle with little care. Today I was told the incident was considered to be an Act of God, meaning the college is not liable for the damages. How convenient. The entire situation could have been much worse, but I sure hope it doesn’t rain again before I get this problem fixed. If it does, one family member has advised me to put an arm out the window and wipe down the windshield as often as I can while driving down the road. This is not funny, but I can hear you chuckling at the thought of a person actually doing this.

Stop laughing.

Okay, what part of that command didn’t you understand?

Monday, June 7, 2010

"...I love you more than rainbows, baby."--anonymous (I heard this on an awards show on television but don't recall who said it)
"I always felt in their flaws they were well-matched, but there is a sort of sweetness about two people who know how to stumble together as opposed to two people who know how to fly together."--actor Evangeline Lily discussing Sawyer and Kate's relationship on the show Lost.