The Odd Among Us

Once in a while we meet a customer who makes Mel Gibson look sane.  If you saw the move Conspiracy Theory that Mel starred in, you know that this likeable fellow, Jerry, a NYC taxi driver, knows THEY are out to get him.  They, you ask?  Who is the they?  Well, it doesn’t really matter, I guess.  But THEY (always capitalized) are after him.

We sometimes have folks wander in who have a conspiracy theory.  THEY are cheating them, following them, destroying them, plotting against them or tricking them.  THEY may be politicians (either right or left-leaning),  the education system or the woman at the bank.  Yesterday it was Hitler.

When this 60-ish man came to the counter, we’ll call him Sam, he wanted to know how to write a book.  Choking back a snide remark that might have included handing him a piece of paper and a pen, I probed further.  Did he want to find a publisher for his already finished book?  No, he wanted to write a book and tell millions how Hitler, aka as our government and court system is evil, has cheated him, owes him a lot of money and also took away his hearing.  Ah, yes, my conversation with him was very loud and drew much attention from both our employees and the customers in the store.

I tried to treat him with dignity.  The conversation, or monologue, went on and on, taking weird and illogical sharp turns.  I saw his confusion.  I saw his fear.  And I was overwhelmed with a rush of emotions.  Compassion, frustration and the compulsion to laugh at him.  I dared not look at my co-workers for fear of breaking up altogether.

Luckily, other customers came along, the phone rang (thank you, Piper) and he shuffled off, content for the moment with the name and number of a local writer’s group.   Their next meeting will be lively.

What is our response to those like Sam who just don’t fit?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and hear how you respond to the odd among us.  I’m not worried about Sam reading this.  He doesn’t have a computer, email or a telephone, because, remember, THEY took away his hearing.

Published in: on September 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

A better day

I did a few better things today.  I got a fair night’s sleep.  I ate a better breakfast and dinner.  I shopped for and chopped some better foods.    I did some volunteer work that was unrelated to bookselling.  I answered some important email and threw some unimportant email away.  I paid some bills, did some laundry and read a bit.  Yes, it was a better day.  Still tired, but possibly catching up. And tomorrow will be better yet.

On this last day of summer, I’m loving the neon purple asters, the first orange leaves, baby ducks looking grown up, apples and pears.

Every day is a gift.  Tomorrow, I’ll make someone elses day better, too.

Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 5:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Oh, Sister, Where Art Thou?

Here I am. Tired after 14 straight days of work with at least five more to go. Tired after celebrating 10 years in business at the bookshop with a week of partying. Tired of feeling behind in everything. Just tired. The end is not yet in sight. We are getting busier as school orders are coming in, as are new products for the fall and holidays. We have two new great employees who are in training, so there is hope in sight. I just long to sit and read all the wonderful books that pass through my fingers and enjoy autumn before it turns white. I’m currently in the middle of at least three books, but they will need to wait a bit longer. I’m feeling like I’m out of balance with my personal, work and spiritual life. It seems that at least once a year I come to this place. This place where, even though I didn’t plan it, all the things in my life converge and I try to be in four places at once. Then, I step back, take a look at my lack of exercise, poor eating habits, restless and nightmare-filled sleep and try to rein it all in again. Do you ever find yourself on this kind of merry-go-round, feeling not very merry? How do you keep balance in your life? How do you determine what to say yes to and what to say no to? How do you slow down long enough to jump off? I’d love to hear your thoughts.  As for me right now?  I’m goin’ down to the river to pray.

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 5:18 am  Comments (3)  
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