Monday, August 19, 2013

What You Need

As far as watching television goes, I have been stuck in a time warp for as long as I can remember. I rarely watch a program that is new.  I usually find it years later once it is old. I am pretty sure that it all got started when I was young and became fascinated by the repeats of Bonanza and Star Trek, which I retreated to the basement in the house I grew up in to watch in black and white all alone, instead of watching whatever was new upstairs in what was once referred to as “living color.”  It was not that I had anything to escape from I just liked our basement, the coolness of it, the feel of it, and the darkness of it.
Somewhat later, after college and married, I stumbled over scheduled repeats of The Twilight Zone”.  I can still remember my then husband looking up from whatever work he was doing, having come alongside my latest addiction, and saying, “Zone?” That would be the cue to drop what we were doing, hit the couch or crawl onto our bed and tune in for a flight of fancy through time.
Lately I have been seriously agonizing and torturing myself over a decision I have to make concerning the next steps in my life. Last night it was brought to my attention that I was really afraid for no good reason.  I think my angst amused this person, seeing as his whole life and career was built on creating solutions for people like me, who were just flat out afraid to do the thing that they knew they had to do.  He pointed out that I really did have attractive, very safe choices.  He even pointed out how both of those choices could blend, and connect.  He asked me why I was crying and I just got more emotional and choked out the words” I don’t know.”  I think deep down I was both annoyed and impressed that he did know.  I do not really think I said it but I did appreciate him telling me what he thought.  I think I cried last night because I already knew what I wanted to do, and how I am going to go about doing it.  I think I cried because I was afraid that I could not do it. His simple answer set me free and bound me to a journey. He said, in his deep, commanding John Wayne-ish voice: “Why not?”  Dammit but I had no answer.
Today I was sitting in a crappy meeting for my crappy job, looking to my right and then to my left, taking a bath in the ambiance of stupid, and heard the words in my head from an episode of the old Twilight Zone.
It was a story about an old peddler who had a knack for selling someone just the thing they would shortly need.  In one case, he sold a lonely single woman sitting in a diner a small bottle of stain remover, which she could not see why she would need. She bought it anyway because he told her he had what she needed. Some minutes later, a man came into the diner who never noticed her at all, except when he was somehow bumped and had something spilled on his shirt. She had what was needed and because of that, met the man of her dreams.  I started to daydream thinking that maybe that is really the whole solution here. Realizing that I already have what I need and I just have to buy in and step on ahead.  As the meeting dragged on with me seated in between what I have come to believe are the polar opposites of stupid, I thought about the last scene in that episode, where the old peddler speaks to a two-bit bullshit artist planning to take advantage and steal from him.  The old peddler listened politely to the man who smiled and puffed up his veneer of goodness covering up a cesspool of lies and deceit, and then simply said, “ I have what you need, free of charge “ and gave the blow hard thief a pair of shiny new shoes.  The man, laughing, thinking he conned the peddler out of this great pair of shoes, slapped them on, laughed and left thinking that he was leaving the company of fools.   Shortly after, you only hear the screech of the tires, a thud, and the cries for someone to call an ambulance because a man was just hit by a bus.
The old peddler smiled at the single lady, who was now staring into the eyes of the man who would deliver her happy future and said: “Sticky shoes.” With a tip of his hat and a gleam in his eye, he was gone.

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