Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Fall and Redemption

Does this ever happen to you, or is it just me? You go about your world, appropriately immune to situations, other people, interactions and then *BOOM* out of nowhere, something you understand intellectually is insignificant gets under your skin. It isn't insignificant. It's huge. It's HUGE. And no amount of support, or teasing, or talking, or stiff-upper-lipping or anything can make it anything but the lump in your stomach and the tight in your throat.

Guess what happened to me yesterday? You see this guy here:

I have seen him be taken apart. There is no one inside that costume. It's metal and wire and 2x4s. I have seen this with my own eyes. And I always think I should keep people from putting money in the bucket there, because they aren't giving a performer any money. But I don't. I walk on by. Until yesterday. Yesterday, as Lithus and I were walking behind the metal and wood horse, I saw a small group looking, admiring. And I screwed up my introverted courage and stepped out of my comfort zone and spilled the beans. There is no one in the horse! 

Yes! I had done it! I had shared knowledge and talked to strangers. It was a banner day.

One of the women walked up and whacked the horse in the head. Nothing. See? Rubber and plastic. She whacked him again. We thought, perhaps, the head moved. Nodded, even. Except I have seen it taken apart. With my own eyes. So I told them one last time before Lithus and I walked on. Until we heard squeals and laughter and they were scurrying away ~ from the man in the horse suit. Who was in there. Yesterday. The one day I had finally spoken up.

I wanted to be amused. I wanted to laugh at myself. 364 days out of the year, I would have. But not yesterday. Yesterday, I was a horrible person. I had lied to these people. I had set them up to look foolish. I had taken money away from some poor shmuck in a horse suit. I was the worst kind of local. My throat tightened, my stomach hurt, and Lithus ~ dear sweet Lithus ~ could say nothing right about it. Nothing. My crazy had spilled too far out.

Instead, he changed the subject, got me thinking about something else. We ran our errands and did our shopping. On the way home, we decided it was five o'clock somewhere and stopped into a lovely lounge for a drink. The place was packed. There were no seats to be had ~ until two women caught my eye and assured us we could join them at their table. 

Me. The introverted Pobble who was the worst kind of human being. Had to make small talk. Be nice. Wrangle the crazy back in long enough to not utterly and completely destroy these kind people's vacation, as I had done the other group. 

Instead of running, I accepted. Lithus and I sat. We chatted with these two old friends who have known each other since they were eight. We talked a little about New Orleans, but also got into some deeper, more meaningful conversations. We laughed with each other. We shared intimacies the way you can with total strangers. I was funny and polite and friendly and kind ~ and not at all the worst kind of human being imaginable.

By the time Lithus and I left the lounge, I was able to think that the original group would be amused, have a story to tell, if they even remembered that moment of their NOLA vacation (which let's face it, she'd been whacking this guy's horse head, they're gonna remember it!). But it wasn't horrible. It wasn't a Bad Thing. And it certainly didn't make me a Bad Person. It was even *gasp* kind of funny. Not at their expense, but at mine. I was so certain...

I will never see those two women who offered us a seat at their table yesterday again. But wow, I'm glad they showed up when they did.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.


Ian Lidster said...

Actually I think it is very funny. I also like serendipitous moments when they transpire. And if the earlier episode hadn't happened you wouldn't have met them.

BostonPobble said...

Ian ~ It is ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great story! You are forgiven for it. I'm sure that horse wold have been tormented by someone without your provocation anyway. It must be an occupational hazard.


Gay Soldier's Husband said...

Oh well, that's what he gets for sometimes being in the suit and sometimes not... I would make a great Seinfeld episode, though...

BostonPobble said...

April ~ Thank you for absolution. It does make a good story, doesn't it? Today's carpet was horse-colored.

GSH ~ Do you know I have never seen an entire episode of Seinfeld? Couldn't stand the characters enough to have them in my living room for thirty whole minutes.