Who are we, really? Who is dragging this body around.” (Zen Koan)
Just another Hump Day in August, but less torrid, and pleasant, really.
It’s a short walk to the station. The digital counter on the wrist flashes Step # 63, a reminder of the failure to reach 6500 steps by last day’s end.
A Lady, in her early 30’s, hair still damp, rushes onto the crowded train car, steps over the gap, looks down the aisle, lets out a sigh. She sets down her bag and stands. You watch. She stands. And stands. And stands. This weekend you opened the mailbox to find junk mail inviting you to join the AARP, and flung it with disgust into the recycling bin. Hey, at least she wasn’t pregnant.
The 7:30 morning meeting is cancelled, 15 minutes before start time. The same meeting requiring you to catch the first train. You launch an e-missile punctuating the finish with an exclamation mark. Shrapnel hits the target — its impact boomerangs in a Return To Sender. Necessary?
You interrupt another mid sentence, again and again, to steer the discussion and to drive the pace. What is it that is so unsettling that flows in your blood?
You drop your head to check your device, over and over, and over, the lack of interest signaling matters are more important elsewhere. More important elsewhere, than here, right here, right now.
You are unable to articulate a clear way forward in a senior call. You bumble along but get to the finish. String it together Friend, one word in front of the other.
You shade the truth, with no energy to conduct the gentle handling that’s required. It needs to be positioned oh, just so, but you have no time, no energy, no Mas. “Let’s catch up another time when we can go deeper.” They see it, disappointed. Mr. Black and White’s side-step. The effusive “That was Great!“ didn’t show up. And the far more likely, ‘Did you think of doing it this way?’ did not show up either. Instead a flaccid punt, that rolled off the field 30 yards from the goal line.
You pass on a early evening invitation to have a drink with the team to debrief on the day’s meetings – a long, but a good day. They know the answer, they have heard before, hoping today the response will be different. No, thanks. Another time. The introvert desperately seeks his exit, preferring the company of self, a slow walk to Grand Central and a quiet train car.
And here you find yourself sitting in the quiet car, alone, on the ride home. Chewing this cud, regurgitating it (puking it up), and chewing it again. The maybe could haves. The maybe should haves. The maybe shouldn’t haves. The what if’s.
And then it comes.
A ray of light from the late afternoon sun beams through the window. A message. A gentle, graceful nudge as the train car rocks forward whispering forward Dave, forward.
“In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual’s life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one’s humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.”