Category Archives: togetherness

his name was itsy-bitsy, may he RIP.

i used to wig out every time i saw a spider. i don’t know why i had this aversion to the eight-legged creepies (or where it came from), but i did.

when i saw one, i would inevitably screech like a crazy person and then beg whomever was in a three-foot radius of me to “killit, killit, killit, killit!”

as i’ve gotten a bit older (only a bit, mind you), i have tried to quell this hooting-and-hollering nonsense. because, seriously, i am an adult woman who should not be afraid of something the size of my fingernail.

so, i took baby steps. and before long, instead of screeching, i would simply make a whimpering noise through clenched teeth. and now i have neutral feelings toward them, unless one jumps at me. that’s pretty good progress, i think.

i have made my peace with all sorts of insects and critters, actually. when one lands on me, i intentionally pause before just swatting it away. unless it’s a mosquito; then it’s on one fast-track train to it’s next life, i promise ya that. (some things are just too irritating to bear. i’ll work on it.)

by the way, i can totally read minds. and right now, you’re thinking i’m some lunatic who thinks insects have souls and feelings and junk. prove me wrong, and then you can laugh all you want; ’til then, i’m not taking my chances. (except with mosquitoes, the bastards.) plus, it’s not just the karma issue; i firmly believe that many of us do things without thinking. and i’m a big fan of thinking; i believe it should play a semi-gargantuan role in our daily lives.

so here i am, being all karmically motivated and arachnid-sensitive. yay!

until yesterday.

yesterday, i was in the kitchen getting ready to start my dinner of Ramen when i looked down and – behold – there was a greenish-yellow spider crawling up the sink drain. i can only imagine how long it took him to travel through the water pipes. his spindly little legs straining, his teeny heart pounding. and, upon emerging from the tunnel of darkness, i’m quite certain he mouthed the word “freedom.” maybe there was also some blue face paint and a kilt.

and BEFORE I EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT IT, i turned on the cold water and – as the story goes – washed the spider out. i’m sure he’s halfway to the ocean by now, clinging to a soggy piece of food and cursing my name.

poor bernardo.

he never stood a chance with the likes of me.

i hope he will behave better than i did the next time we meet.

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Filed under attitude, funnies, togetherness

instances, in an instant.

homeless. laid-off. please help. god bless.

his sign was ragged with big, black letters. he wore a scratchy beard, halfway between worn and weathered.

he was dressed in dirty khaki shorts, beaten work boots, a holey t-shirt.

and the sadness —

it swirled around him. cradled him. wrung him out and shook him down.

this street corner defined him. but it was not his whole world.

* * *

someone once told me that this man and others like him were just beggars. people exploiting other people to get a free ride.

a free ride.

it never seemed free to me.

i’ve seen the way people look at men like him.

or the way they turn their heads and pretend not to see him at all.

the thing is, this man makes them uncomfortable.

he is both desperate and hopeful.

sometimes that combination throws people into a whirlwind of emotions. and they avert their eyes.

we like to pretend we have every ounce of control over our own little spaces in the universe. we like to believe that we will never be on that street corner, holding that sign.

but there is no difference between me and him. you and me. him and you.

we are made up of the same matter, the same energy, the same emotional charges.

the line is thin.

and the sooner we realize this, the sooner our world becomes a place where men don’t carry ragged signs.

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Filed under journey, messengers, togetherness

attitude, shmattitude.

i’m new to the neighborhood.

so i’ve been making a point to remember things, activities and people in my still unfamiliar surroundings.

train whistles cutting through dark hours.

stray (roaming?) dogs hurrying down busy streets.

baked bread colliding with gasoline.

guitar-tuning two doors down.

faces.

i especially pay attention to faces.

i believe most of us spend the majority of our lives comparing faces. it’s sad, that one’s happy. this one’s friendly. that one’s intimidating.

we wear our attitude on our faces. whether we like it or not, that fact is undeniable.

of course, even though we may not be able to change the way our attitude is reflected, we can change our attitude.

[insert flashback to 6th grade: my mom got my report card, took one look at the unsatisfactory line of Cs and one D and told me to “change my attitude” at once. i spent the rest of the evening sulking.]

i’ve spent a lot of my time and conscious effort talking myself out of a hideous mood. i am fortunate that, though my moods are sometimes awry, i am generally an optimistic person.

generally.

and though i hope to always convey that attitude in my face, i have been known to miss the mark.

a few weeks ago, i was caught mid-mark-missing by a complete stranger.

she wore a gray hoodie, black sweatpants and walking shoes.

and she traveled in an electric wheelchair.

my head was down, at first, as i toted a bag of garbage to a nearby dumpster. i walked hurriedly, as i was running late for work. i tossed the trash and turned on my heel. i noticed right away that she was smiling. and laughing.

but it took me a bit longer to realize that she was smiling at me.

at me.

i heard her shout something from across the street that separated us. “pardon me?” i asked.

“i said, ‘smile! it’ll make it easier!'” she laughed.

i smiled in response to her’s. “thanks! you’re right!”

and as she passed, i turned to watch her disappear down the road.

what she saw: furrowed brow, frown, hectic stride.

and she suggested i change it. for my benefit and for the benefit of those whose paths i would cross.

attitude is contagious. cliché, i know.

but her’s most certainly infected me.

and released me from my negativity.

i’ve seen her three times since that morning, and every time is exactly like the first.

we exchange smiles, pleasantries, attitudes. then we go about our respective days.

and i’m always happy to see her again.

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Filed under attitude, journey, messengers, togetherness