Ditched

There is one single spot in the center of the paper where it looks like the persistent tears finally got the best of Laura as she wrote this letter to Will.  I found it chasing after Rufus in a ditch at the park.  He’s still not able to control his urge to chase small animals.  This time he’d caught me off guard and pulled when I was tying my shoe.

It seems that the addressee, Will, has given up on Laura.  Her words to him tell that much.  Also I found the letter inside a wadded up envelope that was only half opened.  I guess he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.  If I knew who Will was, though, I would make him read the letter and see the genuine remorse Laura feels for her actions.  It’s probably over the top, but she says she won’t be able to live without him.  My guess is she’ll be fine, unless Will left with her medication and her money.  In that case I’d want Will to at least spot her some dough.  I’d do it.  If I knew Laura.

But unless she’s a sociopath and was just drinking a cold beverage that dripped on the paper, this girl really hurts for Will.  I mean, she convinced me, and I don’t even know her.  I guess the only option here is to put the letter back where I found it in hopes that Will has a change of heart and returns for it.  Pray it doesn’t take him long.  It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, and this ink is not waterproof.

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Love Matrix

Love is funny.  Sometimes you don’t even know that you love someone until you are asked point blank.  You’re sitting in a restaurant talking about how much you care about someone and how they are important to you, and without warning someone calls you out.  “You love that person, don’t you?”  Whoa.  You don’t know what to say.  Well . . . usually the first response you think is how you really feel, but saying it out loud is scary.

This is just an example, though.  What I’m describing is a romantic type of love where you’re very thoughts are monopolized by that other person.  You want to be with them.  You want to impress them.  You want to make them laugh.  Most of all, you want to take care of them and make them feel safe.  But what about other kinds of love?  Is there something that unites all of them together?  I think love for another person is qualified by the realization that there are other things in this word besides just yourself.  Those that don’t have love for other people spend all their time thinking about their own lives and making their own plans.  Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with considering and attending to your own needs and wants, but it is essential to be aware that you aren’t the most important thing in the world.  Love for another person forces you to consider the needs and wants and feelings of someone else.  Those become part of your thought process every day.

This is the point that Jesus is trying to make when he says to love your neighbor as yourself.  When you think about yourself, you think you’re pretty important, right?  Well that’s what everyone else thinks, too.  So, in a nutshell, everyone would get along so much better if we all realized that the needs of others are just as important as we think ours are.  Maybe even more.  It’s definitely hard to break out of that frame of mind sometimes, but I don’t believe loves works without it.  Sure you can say you love someone all you want, but genuine love is reflected through your actions.

The interesting part to me, the part that sort of defies logic, is the good feeling you get when you put others before yourself.  I mean, you don’t always get it.  Sometimes, given the opportunity to take the high road and treat someone with kindness and respect, we fail and take the jerk way out.  But there are times when the intrinsic reward that we receive from making the non selfish choice is worth the time and effort spent.  These are all just words on a page, though.  I want everyone to understand how important love for others is, but you won’t know it until you do it.  It’s like the Matrix.  I cannot tell you what it is.  You have to see it for yourself.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

Nervous Steel

I’m not often nervous.  When I search my memory banks, the few times that I have been gut-wrenchingly anxious have been when I had to tell someone something really important.  To be more specific, every time I’ve known that I was about to have a talk about my feelings with a girl, my heart has pounded in my chest like there’s a fist banging against my ribcage.  But even then I can put sentences together and I don’t shake uncontrollably.  I once had a problem with that.

Back in 2005, I was a finalist for the concerto competition at my school.  I practiced my butt off to have that honor, and I was very proud of myself.  However, for some reason when I would get in front of the studio for a practice run of my piece, I would get so nervous that I would start to shake all over.  Now when you play a brass instrument, you want to have a bit of vibrato in your sustained notes to make them sound pretty.  Give it that little something extra.  My nervous shakes were assisting me with that, but it became so bad that I was not able to play correctly.  My tuba would try and vibrate off my face.  In these situations, when you try to intentionally relax, you actually make it worse by focusing on the problem.  I was worried I would sabotage my own performance.  The mystery of this situation was I had no idea where this feeling was coming from.  To me there was no difference between doing karaoke in front of the entire church camp and playing my tuba with orchestra accompaniment in front of an audience of musicians and my parents.  Now that I think about it, that was the biggest show I’d ever played.  The secret I discovered that conquered my nervousness was pretty simple, though.  I just had to keep performing in front of people and focus on the music instead of my body.  I had to simply ignore my body’s impulse to run away from the potential failure of getting any notes wrong and play the show.  It turned out to be a huge success.

Contrarily, to show just how weird my brain is, when I was robbed at gun point on a pizza delivery three years ago, I was not nervous at all.  I simply gave all my money to my assailants and they left.  My heart was not beating in my chest during or even after the event.  My voice was not hysterical, and I did not beg either of them not to hurt me.  My response was to simply end the “exchange”, for lack of a better word, as quickly as possible.  Then I slowly walked to the nearest business, strangely enough a rival pizza business, and called the police.  I didn’t actually lose my cool until three days later when I arrived at my parents house.  I grabbed my dad and bawled my eyes out.  Does that make any sense?  I suppose it does, because my family’s house was the place I felt most safe.  But to whom do I owe my calm demeanor in such a high stress situation?  Possibly it was a trait I inherited from my father and his father before him. Pickle men stay pretty cool.  Plus, in my mind, I totally karated those dudes before they had a chance to even ask me for my money.  So . . . win win.

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fight or Flight.”