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ENCOUNTERS

By September 13, 2017August 28th, 2020No Comments
“I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE LEAVING!” SAID THE ANGRY VOICE OF A WOMAN.  I WAS COMPLETELY TAKEN BY SURPRISE!  WAS THIS VOICE DIRECTED AT ME?  I LOOK UP FROM MY CROUCHED POSITION- I WAS PICKING UP MY BELONGINGS- I HAD JUST HAD MY NAILS DONE.  HER FACIAL EXPRESSION WAS OF PURE ANGER! I LOOKED AROUND TO SEE IF ANYBODY ELSE WAS BEHIND ME- MAYBE SHE WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE ELSE?  BUT NO, SHE WAS CLEARLY TALKING TO ME.  ALL I COULD DO WAS BLINK BACK AT HER.  I IMAGINED HER ANGRY EXPRESSION LIKE ONE FROM MY EMOJI KEYBOARD.  I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY SHE WAS SO UPSET WITH ME.  I REALIZED THAT MY NAIVETY DID NOT MAKE ME INNOCENT BUT I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT WHY SHE WAS SO ANGRY AT ME.

MY BRAIN WAS WORKING FRANTICALLY TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT MY REACTION SHOULD BE. THE ROOM WAS FULL OF PEOPLE THAT I KNEW.  SHOULD I MAKE A SCENE RIGHT BACK AT HER?  LIKE THE VELOCITY OF LIGHT, I MULLED THROUGH MY OPTIONS.  THE TRUTH WAS THAT I DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE A VERBAL FIGHT WITH THIS WOMAN WHO WAS A PERFECT STRANGER TO ME.  I MUTTERED, “HAVE A GOOD DAY.”  I FIGURED SHE CLEARLY WASN’T HAVING A GOOD DAY.

I LEFT THE SALON FLABBERGASTED.  WHAT DID I DO TO AGGRAVATE HER SO?  THE ONLY THING I COULD THINK OF WAS THAT I WAS TALKING ON MY CELL PHONE IN THIS PUBLIC PLACE.  I WAS DEFINITELY TALKING TO A FRIEND OF MINE BUT I WASN’T GLOATING ABOUT MY SEX LIFE FOR CHRIST SAKE! I WONDERED IF I SHOULD GO BACK AND TELL HER OFF, “HEY LADY WITH THE UGLY SHOES, YOU RUINED MY DAY!!!!” IT’S TRUE SHE HAD UPSET MY DAY- I KNOW I UNWITTINGLY UPSET HERS- BUT I TRIED TO REMEMBER WHAT ELEANOR ROOSEVELT SAID: “NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL INFERIOR WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT.”  I KEPT SAYING THIS AS A MANTRA IN MY MIND…. BUT IT DIDN’T WORK. I WAS UPSET AND I WANTED TO FEEL THE BREADTH OF MY UPSET-NESS!

IRONICALLY ENOUGH, THE NEXT DAY AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME, I EXPERIENCED A TOTAL DIFFERENT SITUATION. I WAS IN AN AIRPLANE FLYING TO……….MEXICO FOR, YES, ANOTHER TRADE SHOW AS WELL AS TO SEE MY DEAR MOTHER. I WAS LOOKING THROUGH THE AIRPLANE WINDOW THROUGH THE LAYERS OF CLOUDS- STILL DISCONCERTED BY THE PREVIOUS DAY’S ENCOUNTER- WHEN A MAN’S VOICE INTERRUPTED MY MENTAL CONVERSATION WITH THAT LADY. I TURN TOWARD THE VOICE.  IT CAME FROM A GOOD LOOKING GENTLEMAN, PROBABLY IN HIS 80’S.  IT WAS A NICE, CALMING VOICE. HE WAS ASKING ME WHERE I WAS HEADED AND IT TOOK A SECOND FOR ME TO DECIDE HOW TO RESPOND.  SHOULD I STOP THINKING ABOUT THAT WOMAN, OR SHOULD I DROP IT AN ENGAGE IN AN AUTHENTIC CONVERSATION WITH HIM?  I DECIDED TO TALK TO HIM. HE TOLD ME ABOUT HIS BACKGROUND, HE HAD BEEN A VERY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MAN IN THE FILM AND TV INDUSTRY IN CALIFORNIA. BUT NOW HE IS RETIRED AND HAS MOVED TO SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE.  BUT INSTEAD OF RESTING ON THE LAURELS OF HIS SUCCESSES, HE WAS NOW FOUNDING SHELTERS FOR CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED. AS WE TALKED I COULD FEEL THE LEVEL OF COMPASSION HE HAD FOR THESE INNOCENT KIDS. HE SAID TO ME THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE GO TO MEXICO TO DIE BUT THAT HE WAS TO WORK.

THE TIME WENT BY PRETTY FAST TALKING TO THIS AMAZING HUMAN.  BEFORE I KNEW IT WE WERE LANDING IN LEON.  I WAS EMOTIONALLY TIRED FROM THE TRIP THAT HE GUIDED ME THROUGH, INTO THE LIVES OF THESE KIDS. I LOOKED THROUGH THE WINDOW AND IT WAS RAINING AND PITCH BLACK OUTSIDE.  I FELT SO FAR FROM THE INCIDENT FROM THE PREVIOUS DAY.  IT SEEMED SO IRRELEVANT. AT THE TERMINAL WE SAID OUR GOODBYES.  I THOUGHT TO MYSELF HOW LUCKY I WAS….