|The Blue Cheese of Human Kindness
||[Jul. 22nd, 2008|08:19 am]
I was going to write about how my milk of human kindness has curdled. But the word "curdled" is so gross, I can barely type it. Not to mention "milk". And the very bizarre imagery that goes with "Milk of Human Kindness" as soon as you REALLY start to think about it. Not one of Shakespeare's better gifts to the language. |
But thinking about it, I realized that I could no longer contemplate "curdle" or "milk" as they relate to me, so my brain gratefully skittered on over to cheese, which along with ice cream, seem to be the only dairy products my dairy aversion allows me to think about without vurping.
Which is bizarre, since cheese is nothing but milk that has curdled and is now decomposing or in a state of suspended decomposition, with the aid of a whole host of bacteria and some salt. Add some mold and well, then, that sums up my love-hate relationship with my fellow man quite nicely.
And I suspect that that might have been the highlight. But really, I'm not here to dissect the misery that today is going to be -- but talk about how frustrating it is to try and help someone out...only to wonder why the hell you bother.
I know, many of you are thinking "Ah, the Virginia Renaissance Faire"...but no. I'm talking about those small, spontaneous acts of kindness you warm and fuzzy people are always encouraging me to fill the universe with. Navycrippie reminded me with his story of helping a bridge diver who was more worried about his pants than his near-drowning.
Which reminded me of the time I befriended a homeless person in the small city near my hometown -- when on my lunch break, I always passed her sitting in the park with her shopping cart, so I got in the habit of buying her a small sandwich or hot dog or whatever I was getting. And she was always appreciative and we'd visit briefly and I got to know her as Mary...until after about a month of this, suddenly she leaps up and screams "I know what you're doing, Mindy Saperstein! You can't fool me!" and well, sort of chases me out of the park, hollering about what I've done to her, that she'll get her revenge, she isn't fooled...
Okay, so fine, I can walk on the other side of the street...but she'd see me and start up again. I have no idea who Mindy was, and what the hell she did to this woman, but it left an impression. So, I finally started driving, just to avoid the confrontation. I mean, hello, I'm a Yankee Wasp, attracting attention in public...oh, not so much. But damned if she didn't find me at intersections. I'd be grooving to the tunes, waiting for the light to change and bam, she'd slam her fists down on the hood of my car, or her face would suddenly appear, screaming at my window.
Then I noticed, as Fall came on, she sort of disappeared. I realized that it had been a week since I was ambushed. Then a month. I don't know if she ever came back -- or if she migrated seasonally, like a bird. I'd like to think that I was sad and worried about her. But no, just glad that I could take a stress-free walk during my lunch break.
(For those of you who think I'm horrible -- I was working at a psychiatric hospital at the time. I KNOW why many folks are homeless and I understand the difficulties of keeping someone on meds when they're in a structured environment, never mind out on the streets. I wish I had a workable solution. But I don't. And when your window is spattered with human saliva and you've just peed yourself when Crazy Mary popped up right next to you while at a red light...your solutions run along the Goering/Dick Cheney theme)
And again, Blue Cheese happens when you try and then you wonder why you even bothered. We always had sandwiches leftover at the end of the day at the gourmet store I used to work at and we thought that rather than throw them out, we'd distribute them to the homeless folks out on the streets. Which sounds like a lovely idea until you're handing out sandwiches at 1am, when you could be almost home and you get "hey, you got anything on white bread?" and "No, I don't eat turkey" and "do you have any without that green stuff".....why I am doing this again?
But at least those are people in hard circumstances -- some they created, some that got imposed on them. But genuinely hard.
But you, lady, you. Waiting there to cut into traffic. And I decide to slow down to let you in. And you just look at me. And I wave you forward, because if I just slow down, you can scoot right in there.
But no, we're dangerously coming close to me having to stop to let you in and that's just going to piss off the people behind me, plus, I'll have to use more gas to get going again. So I wave a little more frantically, but now you're not even looking at me, so I finally think "fine, just sit there, wait another 15 minutes for traffic to break" and speed up again. And THAT'S when you make your move -- darting forward and slooooowly making the turn and I DO have to slam on my brakes.
And you'll be the first person to complain that "people are just so rude and selfish nowadays." Just another skewer-full of mold in the Roquefort that is me.