Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tell Me What You Need




The other day a mentally-challenged dwarf (this is descriptive, not perjorative) started yelling at me to "move my ass," grunting and pointing at where I was and then motioning to the line for food. He wasn't making a bit of sense so I just stood there and looked at him, not the reaction he wanted. Finally I moved forward and he left, huffing and cursing. I smiled and wondered what the hell had happened. I hadn't been blocking any door or impeding his teeny-tiny Billy Barty progress to the outside world. Then it occured to me that I used to apologize. A lot. For my very existence. Sorry I'm breathing near you, where you might want to breathe sort of thing. That in my past life, I would have said, I'm so sorry, please tell me where to go, how high to jump, tell me what you need. Now I'd rather eat a meal without salt (for those who know me, that's saying something -- I salt everything including bread and my sister has suggested that perhaps I should just carry around a salt lick, like a deer and save some time) than say I'm sorry when I'm not.

The dwarf had an enlarged head, a condition known as hydrocephalus or water on the brain. When I was a lifeguard, one of the little girls who was dumped off at the pool all day (a practice many parents employed as a form of virtually free daycare) had this condition. She was in charge of her younger siblings, one of them being a beautiful partially paralyzed five year old. At one point, the beautiful sibling inched her way into the water and almost drowned before I realized what was happening and went in for her. Sitting there, she was in less than three feet of water, a side of the pool that we almost never monitored because nothing ever happened. I carried her to the guardhouse and asked her sister what happened, why when I set her down, she would wobble and not stand. She explained that she'd been beaten so badly at home that she couldn't walk anymore. I looked at both the little girls, one with an enlarged head the shape of an egg and the other who could barely move, both with parents straight out of Hades, I imagined. What would they ever do? I'm so so sorry, I said, but unlike the way I usually said it in those days, I meant it.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
“I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet." Nadia Comaneci

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Solitaire Amie Liuu

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

9 comments:

realbigwings said...

Wow. You're so skillful, your writing is smooth as iceskates that wisk ahead and then cut in a sharp turn, spraying ice. It gives me goosebumps.

the walking man said...

"Tell Me What You Need"

The tale allows me to see that you are beginning to have some of the things that you have needed for so long, amusement and strength in the face of strange situations. Congratulations you can now be called a truly spiritual person because you didn't lash out but stood your ground in peace. If this is not fiction, which I doubt I can say with all honesty you finally get it, even if it can never be put in words other than you have been to the mountain top.

You stopped being false to yourself by saying I am sorry when someone else was being rude, taking the responsibility for their poor actions. I find that a grand thing and a major accomplishment on your journey.

and this

“I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet." Nadia Comaneci

How it ties it all together between the one time you were truly sorry for the situation of another as compared to just mouthing the words to not be confrontational.

"Tell Me What You Need"

I have no need, or fear but I do have a want but I refuse to put voice to it. For when I even pause for a moment to think of it, it is another slice through my heart that causes the already scarred thing to bleed even more.

Much Peace and congratulations on todays words.

mark

eric313 said...

"The other day a mentally-challenged dwarf (this is descriptive, not perjorative)"

Talk about setting a tone with a great opening line. Don't let this one collect idust.

You rock!

eric313 said...

...and I so know this sentiment.

You are the example I would be if I could be any one.

Can't say I'm sorry about that--like I have about so many other things, imagining that I have offended you or others in some way, perhaps with my very existence.

But I do offend those perjorative mentally challenged dwarves out there, and am not sorry for doing so.

eric313 said...

truth = :)

Billy Barty said...

You shouldn't take advantage of the disadvantaged. Heigthwise.

Pythia3 said...

Wow, I can relate! I used to apologize for everything too . . . and sometimes I still have to fight it.
As usual Michelle, you worded it beautifully!

Charles Gramlich said...

I still say "I'm sorry" too much. A habit maybe. Not even sure where it came from.

Cheri said...

That's hard to recognize that. And no matter the persons stature, if they are being an asshole, call them one.