A Story in Progress
"You jerk." The lady shouted as she pulled into the elementary school to pick up her kids. It was hot out, her husband was pretty much useless and the line of cars to get into the school lot was not moving. She needed to turn left and some asshole and some asshole in a big truck wouldn't stop to let her forward. To make it worse, he pretended he didn't even notice but he must have for they were just yards apart, sitting in their traveling recliners. He looked like one of the young men who had come into her office and made work less bearable. He knew nothing and pretended like he knew everything, that she should be on her knees before him. At least the old boss wanted her bent over the table so she could get some pleasure from it.
"You jerk.!" He heard the woman yell as she passed.
"Damn lady, I didn't mean to do nothing." He wondered as he could feel the heat sweat out his back and his legs stuck to the seat. "Does she freak out like that with her kids?"
He was worried, bothered by the moment. He was a jerk, that he could admit but not to some stranger and not for being stuck in school traffic. He wasn't a jerk merely for existing.
Maybe if these lazy folks wouldn't drive right up to the school. Damn, I hope I get an email from the people soon. Every time he saw the yellow light next to the E it reminded him that he was broke. Try as he might, work was not easy to find.
The messed up thing about it all was work was not the chore. All these people around searching for a way to make rent and scrambling to pay some old debt or to buy some milk,wasting a few dollars on beer flavored rotten barley to forget, finding someone to blame but really just wanting to work, to feel like they had meaning and to have some cash, they were everywhere. Begging outside of stores and serving up fries, pushing papers and making traffic stops. They attacked each other because it was the only thing they could think to do. Others just watched T.V. on and endless reel.
Not that it's a new idea but it's one worth explaining. What does another person live through? I was on a selfish version of this thought game, "They just don't know my responsibilities or my concerns, strengths, limitations, motivations, trials, etc. This self trudgery and fairly useless line of reasoning occurred on yet another walk to the store to get another beer to mollify the worry of the day and give me freedom to dream of something more than the moment. I was going along the familiar stretch of sidewalk as my son ran about figuring out how to throw a frisbee. We found it on the strip of grass that catches all the trash from the evils of the road. A red VW bug kept passing up and down the street, a couple about my age enjoying driving the loud little car. Various other people drove by dressed in machine finery or wrapped in torn and patched metal getups.
All these people going around and meeting demands in their lives were worn down by bearing the challenges of the day or exalted by the events great or small, new love, finding $20, a healthy baby, a kind word. Here we all were going through time-space in some controlled idea driven by wants and needs. Consuming on past consumptions. Actions mandated by habits, choice at moments when the future seemed different or lacked any reality. Another drink, a new car, a late night fling, doing what one wanted and then the obscure shackles of obligations were locked. The choices may have been the best, to not call the woman at the bar back, to not join the Army, but there was and is no way of knowing.
Scientists are at work proving that time is an illusion. Perhaps they are right in some sense that it is part of a time-space construct but we know it to be a real law that we live by. Our mortality is one of the absolute truths, if not the only one. It is fun to think of time dilating around planets and we may get some useful stuff from it but it ain't the world we live in. Rain fall, counting a beat, a measure, a rythem as it builds into the puddle, falling over its breaks into a swirl, slipping into a gurgle, falling into the creek and beyond. All along, we see the present, recall our past, and imagine a future.
Kindness, sympathy, caring, love: the forces that push for better moment are how we know that we do understand each others little worlds. Greed and violence are the actions we take when we only act for ourselves. I find myself in another conflict and perhaps with a greater understanding of greed. Seeking, begging, lying, and stealing in order to provide support for my family. Is it not an honest goal? But the end provides poor support for the means for it makes me a weaker man and further scars my being. Festering sores that I pick at in worry and shame. Afraid to admit to those I love and further leaving a part of me rotten.
Seems that I either lost direction or forgot where I was going. It's the problem with no plan. Bugs are bit annoying and my stomach is burbling from too much coffee. Can't seem to shake this filthy nicotine habit. A car horn goes off in the distance, probably a forgotten alarm. Maybe a kid found the panic button and now it has stopped. The bright yellow corvette is going on its laps. Still....no plan, just gonna revive a habit that never stuck like it should. Why do the good habits require maintenance of effort while the bad ones just come in to control.