autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

analogy of the moot

Note: This item, written in 2006, seems oddly cyclic to me. Hence, bringing it out from the veil and public.

i had a very interesting experience today. the reason it was interesting is only mildly related to what happened.

i had an urge for something not good for me for lunch that i decided to indulge. i went to the local burger joint and pulled around for drive through service. when i did, i found a van blocking the way. i waited a bit, but they didn’t move, so when the drive through line on my left opened temporarily, i drove around it and made my way into the service queue.

turns out the fellow in the van i had moved around thought he was in line for service (i suppose he didn’t notice that he was in the lane for driving around the building, not the lane for drive through service).

thus began a full ten minutes of the most colorful, loud, and vehement language you might imagine. directed at me, of course. any time the line moved in any way, he would lean out the window to toss more invective and anger toward my car. i won’t bore you with the details. you can likely imagine.

ten minutes. the time it took for me to pull up, place my order, pay for and receive it and as i was pulling off to go back to work, this fellow was still yelling at the top of his lungs… wanting to make sure i could hear him as i increased the distance between us, i suppose.

my initial thought was that he needed serious anger management therapy. i hadn’t been scared, though i suppose some in that position might have been.

by the time i got back to the office, i was bemused. i felt badly for the fellow, because i certainly hadn’t intended to rile him up so badly… and what kind of day to day life must he be having to have something so small and insignificant set him off like that?

later in the day, i thought about it again and by then, i felt what i suppose was compassion. i found myself wishing he had something especially good happen to him, so maybe he wouldn’t be so angry all the time that it would be so easy to blow up at small things. i wished that whatever helpful and peaceful things could possibly be near in his world, they would find their way to him. not because i feel sorry for him, not because i feel superior to him, simply because it made my heart hurt to think of anyone that unhappy and angry.

i didn’t think of it again until the drive home. in traffic, i suppose remembering was easy. but by that time, i was thinking of comparisons, parallels, and analogies. which brings me to something i find rather interesting.

for the last two years, i have by turns been screaming and yelling at someone, too. someone i needed things from, someone who set an expectation that such things could be expected and enjoyed. when those things were no longer being offered, when every attempt to enjoy them was ignored, i too became angry and started yelling my lungs out.

did it do any good whatever? nope. not a jot.

did it change the situation? not one bit.

did it magically convey to the person i was yelling at how important it all was to me, or how badly it hurt to feel it was so unimportant to them? apparently not.

do i even know if they heard or understood me at all? no, i cannot say i do.

just like me at the drive through, they are pulling away and even knowing it, seeing it, i have the urge to yell after them, scream bloody murder and try to get it all out of my system so maybe it won’t hurt anymore.

and just like that fellow i left behind at the fast food outlet, all the screaming and yelling in the world isn’t going to change how i feel. because how i am feeling has nothing to do with whether or not they hear me, or even if it matters to them (which, as is so very obvious now, it does not whatever).

it has, in the moment they pulled away and started closing doors, become moot.


so i have a choice. i can either stand here and scream and yell and wear myself out trying to communicate something they have no interest or care for hearing or understanding…. or i can realize that nothing i say or do means a thing or matters to them… which is why they could leave so easily in the first place.

instead of being wounded, i can remind myself that people who genuinely care for you don’t abandon you when you’re angry, nor do they ignore you when you express a need.

and i can remind myself that people who deserve your care do not punish you for giving it, nor do they make demands upon your behavior that they know are impossible for you to meet.

people who love you do not love you for who they can make you be, they love you for who you are.

and people who do not love you, who do not care for you are never going to magically become people who do …. if they couldn’t manage it when you spoke calmly and gently and lovingly, they surely are not going to manage it when you’re yelling and screaming and hurt.

but above and beyond all of this — if you care for and love yourself, you’re not willing to endure people who treat you like this, or in any way insist that it should ever be ok to be treated like this. in fact, people who genuinely care for and love you will never treat you like this, because this is not care and it certainly is not love.

and when i thought about this, as i walked into the house and up the stairs, i started to cry. i was crying because i wanted this person to care for and love me, and they can’t.

and i was crying because i remembered when i believed it to be possible, and i miss feeling that sense of belief.

and i was crying because, as usual, i’m an idealistic idiot who thinks these things really are quite simple and usually horribly overcomplicated by humans in general and that anything that reminds me of it makes me cry for how sick, sad, and sorry we so often are as humans.

but most of all, i cried because i miss my friend.

however, in this moment, i realize, this is completely moot… and very likely dissonant. but i am not going to follow the thread of thought that asks if this person was truly ever my friend. i suppose in a way, it’s a gift not only to them, but to myself. pretty much the only one i can give, really… to choose to believe they were, while they could be, as best as they could be.

anything beyond that is really quite moot as well.

i find i am glad it is raining because when i came in, my friend and roomie couldn’t tell i had been crying. i’m not sure i could explain this as well if i had to speak it.