I can usually find a silver lining in any cloud, but yesterday presented a few situations in which I had to toss up my hands.
First, I have an update on Ilaiy's fish. Ilaiy used my home as the return address when he left, since he was no longer at his return address. I received, in the mail yesterday, a letter stating
"an empty wrapper with your address was found in the mail and is believed to have been separated from your parcel..."Separated from the parcel?!!! It was still attached to the paper it was originally glued to! It was still attached to the duct tape that had secured the paper to the package. It was not "separated from the parcel", it was CUT OFF THE PARCEL WITH A RAZOR!
The implications of this made me sick. I have so much to spew that I don't dare begin. Momo and Mike and I are helping Ilaiy with proper correspondence.
Momo and Mike and I cooked up an easy meal at my house last night, before we hit The Coffee Shop.
There are a number of "regulars" at the coffee shop, and we've come to know, at least, the weekend faces. Some we still do not know their names, but we will. These things take time. I'll remind you that this is an outdoor cafe, in the midst of an interesting downtown, where we can talk, people watch, and place faux $5 wagers on whether the parallel parkers are going to hit the car behind them or not.
One of "ours" came across a bit of conflict last night, leaving me feeling numb. I try to protect his identity, and his situation, so for the sake of the story, I'll tell you only that he is deaf. It has taken me, literally, YEARS of saying hello to get to know him.
I think it takes a certain amount of trust building and baby-steps to build a friendship, when you're vulnerable to lip reading and a hearing aid. He's a cautious one, I've figured out. And over the years, I've witnessed his reasons. He is walked over a bit. And he has to stand up for himself, and in the interim, decide which battles to fight. I did, before I met him officially, watch him stand his ground a few times, and thought "good for you!"
And it's only been in the last year that we've opened up to one another, and I know also, that he lets it slide more than he stands his ground.
That said, I still do not know his last name. It is a "downtown" friendship. Still in the works.
Saturday night, he suddenly fled from his table, extremely distraught, to talk to me.
The guy at the next table, had, to amuse still the next table over, typed up a horrible insult in large letters on his laptop, and handed it over for "ours" to read.
My friend, asked me, "is this true? of me?"
I was shocked. No. NO.
He said only, "they cannot make me leave," and he went inside for tea, only to encounter one of the woman at the next table whooping it up over him.
And he can read lips.
And we watched, with sinking stomachs, his encounter with her, and her running out and packing up and taking off.
I'm still sickened. While Momo moved his belongings from his table to ours (and, thus away from the guy with the laptop) I caught him a few minutes later, and told him "Rise above them. They're despicable."
He told me "I'm never coming back here," and he left.
And I can still feel the bile rising in my throat.
Silver Lining? There IS no silver lining here. Silver Linings, I can still usually find even in bad behavior. I can step outside, and recognize bad days and chaotic relationships, and that bad behavior is a reflection of what's going on with the behavioree. I can forgive bad behavior. Even when it exhausts me, I can forgive it.
A mean spirit found me waking up this morning feeling like I'd been punched in the stomach. I carry it with me for a day. I wear it with me. I cannot think of writing a cheerful market report when this is hanging over my morning.
And it's not even about me. It didn't even happen to me. If I feel this awful, how must "ours" feel, waking up this morning?
And, a rare event occurs: I'm not going to look for a silver lining.
To do so would be insulting.
Photo credit: Dept. Atmospheric Sciences, UIUC