My girlfriend and I were talking the other night and I was bitching. Up against it, work related stuff. It was a no matter proposition, excepting for mine. And that’s when she hit me with it.
“If you had a group of people gathered in a circle, and you tossed all your troubles into a hat together. You know whose troubles you’d want to snatch from that hat? Yours.”
Truer stuff has never, ever been told in a better way. And that’s why I love this girl the way I love her. Because she imparts that kind of thing on me- daily basis wise- even when I’m not listening as much as I should be. And as an aside, she’s funnier than I could ever be. More beautiful too.
I’ve had a few trying times in my day, to be certain. But it was this knowledge inside a mid-week’s saunter that helped bring me back to a few of those below sea level moments. Lessons have a way of doing such a thing. She’s a teacher, so it kinda figures.
I tripped with her. Back to times far worse.
There was that far side of logical understandings back in high school, when I found myself sitting in front of a grand jury. Here I was, a New York punk, surrounded by mean sweated suits and vagabond eyes with boiler plated templates attached to their scratch pads. I remember feeling not quite so tough or certain of anything at all in those moments. And to the make of matters, my parents had their livelihoods happening, so it was just me showing up to this hard ass spotlight. All alone, and shit if that wasn’t scary. It was a good lesson I really didn’t deserve to understand as well as I ended up understanding it.
But I moved from that.
And then there was the time I went flat broke. Ready to file the Chapter and Verse. That was a cringe. A shudder. There was an ebullient Ugh which was clinging tight to the horror of not being able to pay the next month’s bills in proper.
It seemed the worst problem at the time.
Until I was hit with the news by my doctor several years later. I’d had a series of tests conducted. All straightforward, a progress ho kind of advancement that had me up to speed on People magazine and the Listerine smiles of nurses and the small and nervous placement of chatter in one too many waiting rooms.
Oh shit. If that wasn’t the one word I had not been ready for? Then nothing else in Mother Mary’s world ever was gonna be. Every single trouble up to that point was never going to matter as much. Ever. Again.
Eleven years to the day next week. Cancer free.
So my bitching this week gained its perspective. Thanks to my love. And this evening’s worth of laughter and song I’ve been gaining with her. And those very best thoughts borne out of her peaceful dandelion world. Where the only thing that matters more than anything else in the whole wide world is . . .
(Leave it to Ray to finish it up. Brilliant man that he is, I’m only glad my girl met up with me first.)