Yesterday, when I left work, I was disappointed because I'd just learned that the training I'd signed up for had been cancelled. I was marinating over the cancellation and how I could transfer the flight (and how much it would cost me), when I remembered I had to get gas.
I gazed across the street in the direction of where phony homeless man stands. I call him Phony Homey because this man is a con artist. I genuinely feel for people who are truly homeless, but this man, is NOT homeless. In the past two months, I have seen him perched at that intersection feigning a limp, never once wearing the same outfit (except he does have two pairs of very, very well in-tact shoes), and he does this half limp-wave-piercing stare in the general direction of all of the traffic gathering at that light. I remember seeing him a while back and I gave him $2. I see him EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It's unnerving. He stands there, only on weekdays, not on the weekends, mind you, asking, hoping, throwing guilt out there, benefiting from good Samaritans. It really bothers me. It REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bothers me. Why? Because, here's someone, "working" a corner. Three of the four points of that intersection have fast food establishments, all of which have a Now Hiring sign in the window. SERIOUSLY? In this economy, this man would rather stand out there asking for money. Of course, the conditions must be right. If it is too hot, I don't see him. If it is raining, I don't see him. If it is the weekend, I don't see him.
After looking in that general direction, I was happy that he wasn't there. I cleaned out my car and was still thinking about my training class when I pulled out and caught the red light. I was the third one in line and there he appeared. This small man limped along the paved divider of the street, hands clutched to his chest, as he would half wave his right hand, while the left hand was held open, showing he wanted money. Yes, money. He doesn't want food. I offered him food once and he didn't want food, he'd rather have money. He gave me the look and I swear, I shot him a fierce, don't-even-think-about-looking-at-me-buddy-because-I'm-not-in-the-mood look. No one in the line of cars even nudged, very few even looked in his general direction. And for the first time, he shed his persona, I saw him angrily throw his arms, say some profanities under his breath, all the while walking normally. I was mad, so very, very mad! I looked at him again, and for a half second, I was going to roll my window down and introduce myself. I know, random, huh? But I wanted to talk to him, get to know him, hear his story so I could better understand what compelled him to stand there day in and day out. His presence certainly doesn't brighten my day any, quite the contrary. However, if this man is in such dire straits, wouldn't the Christian thing be to try to help him. Maybe he hasn't noticed the Help Wanted signs. Maybe he genuinely needs some kind of professional help. But c'mon, at least attempt to be more of the part with, say, dirty clothes, a sign explaining your position, something else instead of standing there begging for a handout. Because all it told me was that he was lazy. There are entirely too many government (and privately) funded organizations that are there to help. Where there's a will, there's a way.
I sped away and did my best to get my attitude right. I enjoyed the brilliance of the bright sky, colors vibrant due to the violent storm in the looming background. Prior to meeting my final destination for the evening, I felt something brewing within myself. I didn't like it. I knew what it was. All of the signs were there. Usually, when this happens, I'm alone, or can make plans to be alone. On this night, however, I didn't have the opportunity. I did my best to warn Don, but in the time he's known me, he's only been privy to one other such outburst, and we didn't have Mari then.
A series of typical and ordinary events later and I snapped. I bottled in as much as I could, still spewing out awful and selfish insults in the direction of my beloved. My eyes were welling up and I just shook my head. If he could see my eyes, he would've have known that what was coming from my mouth, wasn't what my eyes were trying to say. Mari was in bed, and Don swiftly left to go walk Guapo. I sat there, frail, aching, retreating to a corner with my cry pillow and Ty the bear. For a solid half hour, I sobbed out the hurt. That deep penetrating sob that shakes the house, where you scream minutes-long into a puffy pillow, saturated with your hurt. My voice was shattered. My soul hurt. Everything from the past few months came out in a whirlwind, similar to that storm we had. I'd been "dealing" with the ache by shoving it under the methaphorical rug. I hadn't dealt with it. And those ever present demons of guilt, inadequacy, and such just kept the whole tantrum going until I was done.
By the time Don returned, I was sitting in silence, TV on mute, cradling my daughter in my arms, doing my best to focus on the positives, not trying to hold on to the negatives. I've never been a woe is me type. I've always seen a problem and done my very best to address it in some way or another. In most cases, I'm able to abate these emo-eruptions, but other times, I can't. I just never want to get back to that place of intentional solitude, shutting out the world. It was a very gray and dreary place, full of ominous self-loathing.
He kissed my forehead, and like that, the hurt went away. He poured me a glass of wine, I ate a homemade cupcake, played with my baby girl, and slept soundly.
This morning, however, my body aches. Physically, it aches and I can't help but observe that when this happens, it's always followed by a migraine, a flu, or some other debilitating illness. In any case, I'm ready to get out of this funk.
The countdown begins...7 days and I'm back home in Lubbock. Those breathtaking sunsets, Taco Villa, Tech football, and movie marathon with Mom & Dad. Yep, I think that's just what I need.
love you Don, no matter what!