As longtime readers of this little bloggy thingy know, my life is less an example of long-held dreams pursued with focus, drive, and determination, than one of mindless meandering, with no goals of any substance, and no real sense of purpose. But while I say this with no slight trepidation, I believe that may have changed yesterday.
I was down to the Winco (I recently took an on-line test of regional accents, and apparently I don’t have one, even though I’ve lived in Idaho most of my life, so I’m trying to pick up some of the local colloquialisms … so yeah, I was down to the Winco …) doing a little post-work grocery shopping. As I was heading down the pasta aisle, I walked past a couple of elderly women, both in wheelchairs. I heard one of them say “oh, I bet this gentleman will help us,” and though the term “gentleman” is rarely used in reference to me, I went out on a limb and asked if I could be of any assistance. Sure enough, they were trying to get a couple of bottles from one of the higher shelves, and I was more than happy to be of service.
As I said, I was shopping directly after work, so I was wearing one of those shirts that has buttons up the front, on the collar, and on the sleeves (dress shirts? Is that the term?). Further, my cart was full of vegetables, so that, while I don’t clean up all that well in general, I would guess that I was as close to respectability as I ever get. Usually it’s a stained t-shirt and a cart full of cheap-ass beer. In any case, one of the women said to the other “oh my … a nice looking young man who shops! Someone must be very lucky!”
Now, I’m fairly certain that both of my readers are aware of my long and pathetic history of failed relationships, so it should come as no surprise that a statement such as that would bring to the forefront all of the angst and trauma that I usually keep stuffed away in the dark recesses of my subconscious. I immediately fell to my knees and began weeping openly. “Oh, that it were so!” I cried. “Would that I were so fortunate …”
I began regaling the women of my tales of lost love, of Jenny Slottenheimer, who, back in the 6th grade, kissed me on the cheek before kicking me in the shin ... of Marcie Millingford, in junior high, who broke up with me but didn't tell me for 5 weeks ... I told of the tear-filled days of high school, and the heartbreaks of my sophomore years in college.
Well, I hadn’t even gotten into the 1990s, but there was something of a crowd gathering. It almost appeared as if the women were desperately trying to move out of the aisle, presumably so that we could go to a quieter area in which I could continue my narrative, but the influx of fellow shoppers made movement of their wheelchairs impossible.
It was at this point that something happened that I suspect will change my life forever.
They walked. They pushed themselves up, arms quivering and in obvious pain, and walked.
To be perfectly clear: I’m not attempting to draw any comparisons to any other healers in history, and they were obviously somewhat delerious from their efforts, but I’m pretty sure they were saying, almost imperceptibly, “Jesus Christ,” as they struggled out of their chairs and down the aisle toward the front door. One of them was so inspired that she used the more colorful “Jesus Fucking Christ.”
Just then, someone in a Winco shirt approached me and said “sir, you … you … you need to leave.” “I KNOW!” I replied. “I’m sure I’m needed at the hospital!”
And so it appears that I’ve found my purpose on this earth. As I think back, it does seem that many times when I’m conversing with people, they find the inspiration and motivation to get up and go do something else, so perhaps I’ve been doing what I was put here for all along.
Glad to be of help.
4 weeks ago