Life in Perspective

After venting here yesterday, spending three hours alone at the Asylum with PG, stealthily watching Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver on my computer and an hour of meditative prayer, I thought I was over my pissy mood by the time I left work yesterday.

I discovered I was wrong when I got to the bank and ran in to Anthony and his wife.

Ya'll may remember Anthony, I told ya'll about him back in November when he suffered a run of bad luck. Okay.. that's probably the understatement of the year.. but anyway.. I hadn't seen him since the accident and I was a little surprised to run into him.

I was about three people back in line behind them and could hear the conversation taking place between him and an old school buddy while his wife made the deposit for the dollar store. As his friend assured him that whenever he was ready to get back to work, he'd have a job waiting for him with his company, I felt the tears welling up.

"I can't do no mechanickin' anymore," he said as he held up what was left of his hand. "But if you got something I can do, I'd shore appreciate it."

The tears were beginning to seep from the corners of my eyes at about the same time Anthony looked up and noticed me. I'm not sure if he saw how hard I was trying not to lose my shit right up there in the bank, in front of God and everybody or not. I hope he didn't. "Hey girl! You doin' okay? Yer Mama n' them alright?" he asked, grinning from ear to ear.

I nodded, forced a smile and told him we were all doin' just fine.

Thankfully, the 184 year old man who was cashing in a trash bag full of rolled change at the next window was just finishing up. Anthony went back to talk to the bank manager, his step dad (I think, sometimes I get the family connections all mixed up. He's also my Uncle Mullet's dead wife's uncle... I think.. keep up if you can.)

I kept it together while I made my deposit. I tried not to think about how it would have been more, if the powers that be hadn't decided that office staff would no longer receive the piddly little $50 ($35 after taxes) bonus all employees used to get every month when product returns were kept below a certain level. Instead, I thought about how petty and childish I was to whine about anything at all while Anthony, his wife and two girls were trying to figure out how they were going to make it now that part of his body was gone.

Anthony was back by his wife's side as I left the bank. "Girl you take care now!" he said.

The tears began to flow as I walked across the road. It wasn't a dainty, girly cry either. No.. it was one of those full face, squished Playdoh lookin' cries, the kind that makes you say, "bless her heart, she ain't one of them that can cry purdy." I was bawlin', right there in the middle of town, crossin' the state highway. I got in my truck and drove around Frog Pond Holler, blubbering like a fool, trying to get get my shit together.

I still had to stop and buy dog food at the dollar store before I went home.

When I felt I could make another public appearance without becoming the main topic of discussion at the Sunday night services, I parked back behind the Pump n' Go and made a beeline for the dollar store. As I made my way past the mark down rack of Christmas shirts, I was damned near run over by... Anthony.

Oh the Universe was all up in my face yesterday.

"Well HEY! again!!" he said, smiling.

"Well HEY!" I said, trying to sound cheerful. I kept walking, back to the pet food, grabbing a bag of chow for the mutts and slinging it over my shoulder. I lingered around the cat toys for a bit, to give Anthony time to pay for his stuff and leave... because that's the kinda social retard I am.

I got to the register and dropped my big bag on the counter. The cashier was Lucille, Louise's sister, who also happens to work up at the Asylum, out on the plant floor.

"Well hay! Did you work up yonder today Miss Mahala?" she asked.

"Yep, just me and PG in the office " I answered. "It made for a long day."

"Well we're just going to be thankful we've had a chance to work at all,"
she said and I agreed.

When I left and got in my truck, the tears started welling up again, but I took a deep breath and asked myself just what the samhill my problem was. Anthony was the one missing a finger on one hand and most of the other hand, but he was smiling. He didn't look all hopeless and sad. Maybe it was the shock of running in to him, when no one's seen him in so long. Maybe it's the crush I had on him when I first went to work at the Asylum. He had long pretty hair, smiled all the time and always went out of his way to speak to me and call me by name at a time when I felt like the square peg, trying desperately to squeeze in to a round hole.

Maybe it's just that I need to suck it up and get the hell over myself.

I dunno.

I've got all my fingers and toes. The lights haven't been cut off. I'm not living in a car. I've got nothing to complain about. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Ya'll have an ass kickin' helluva weekend. We'll talk again soon.

Later Taters!


BetteJo said...

It's good to find things that remind us how fortunate we are. But sometimes it's still good to have a good cry and get some of the bad stuff out.
Hang in there!

Tori Lennox said...

What BetteJo said. And it shows you have a good heart. :)

rennratt said...

We all need to have our days where we yell, rant and just get the stress out of our systems. It's okay to have a bad patch.

It's people like Anthony that keep us from throwing ourselves into the abyss.

kenju said...

Sometimes I think that we are thrown into company with people like Anthony just so we can mull over how good we have it, in comparison. I've had those days, where I can't quit crying. If I'm out and not at home, I manage to drive the car to the back of some parking lot where no one will see me, hopefully, and just cry till it's all out of my system.

Rachel said...

I know. It's hard not to feel guilty for dwelling on concerns that, in the grand scheme of things, may be petty. But they aren't petty to us, kwim? and it's okay to feel sad or bad or angry even as we force ourselves to get some perspective from folks who have faced real hardship.