Watching and Waiting

Once I lived across the street from a single mom with a son about seven or eight years old.  He was a quiet boy, polite and shy.  Occasionally his mom would call to ask if he could stay at my house if she had to work late.  He liked graham crackers and milk and playing with the dog.  Sometimes I would see him sitting on his front steps with a small suitcase.  He was waiting for his dad to come and take him for the weekend.  More than once I saw him there as I left to run some errand and saw him there again when I returned.  He would wait there, watching the street, looking toward the corner where his dad’s car would appear.  When too much time had passed he would pick up the suitcase and go back inside.  Once I asked him as I was passing how he was doing.  He must have thought I said what instead of how because he answered “Just watching and waiting”.  It broke my heart.

We’ve all done that; watching and waiting.  Maybe a teenager out later than expected.  Sitting by the window hoping for car lights to turn into the drive way instead of passing by, hoping they are just late, not hurt or in trouble.  Or maybe a better kind of watching and waiting like at the airport where your grandchildren will be arriving for a visit or watching for the mailman to deliver a college acceptance letter.

Even minor watching and waiting can get on one’s nerves, like watching the hands of a clock ever so slowly inch toward the time for an event, or just for the end of a work day.  I let myself get irritated when dinner in the oven is not getting done fast enough.  There I am pacing about the kitchen and peeking through the glass oven door to see if the meat thermometer has reached a point that will save us from food poisoning.  The most aggravating for me is waiting for what seems to be an unreasonable amount of time for an appointment with a doctor.  I guess that’s why they call that collection of uncomfortable chairs with a television tuned to something mundane a waiting room.

Right now I am watching the end of a rerun on television waiting for the late news so I can see the weather forecast to plan my day tomorrow.  I am about to give up and just adjust to whatever comes with the morning.  Feeling sleepy.



Watching and Waiting

I think . . .

I try not to hate.  It’s unhealthy.  Not that I am all that forgiving; just self preserving enough that I don’t want to allow anyone to take up space in my head.  BUT, while I don’t hate the current  president I deeply resent what has happened to my peace of mind since the November election.  What happened is I have no peace of mind because every day brings yet another even more troubling exhibition by, by, oh hell what do I call him?  Everything that comes to mind is obscene or at best tacky.  He shall henceforth be referred to by me as 45.  That’s as kind as I find myself able to be.

Before 45 I was interested in politics.  Even involved.  But the focus of my days was my family, home, friends, some projects and hobbies — just living.  I used to walk the dog and stop to visit my neighbors, talking about the weather or their health or news of mutual acquaintances.  I used to enjoy morning coffee with the newspaper and television news before beginning my day.  I used to feel comfortable making casual conversation with strangers out shopping or waiting in line or for an appointment.

Now, it’s risky letting any political issue into a conversation.  45 supporters that I have come in contact with have been vicious toward anyone who has no respect for him.  That leaves me either being silent to keep the peace or wasting my breath trying to insert a few facts into the discussion.  More and more I choose silence.

What I am most angry about is that I feel fearful.  What I want from government is that it functions well enough not to distract me from my daily living.  Instead now I wonder everyday whether tomorrow is when 45 finally does something so foolish that it ends the world.  Seriously, making plans has begun to feel useless.  Even if we somehow survive the toddler who is supposed to be leading us how damn poor will we be? Many of us are just one illness or accident away from bankruptcy or even homelessness and all the safety nets are going away.

What I am even more mad about is that this is not me!  I am a positive person, or I was and want to be.  I like people, well most of them.  I have always looked at problems as challenges, difficulties could be made into an adventure, even tragedy can be endured and grief tempered in time.  I have more to be grateful for than to complain about.  Life is good and I should be allowed to appreciate that, and I do.

Here’s the but.  Even though my personal world is good I can’t be self-absorbed enough not to care what is happening to the country and to the world.  We now have this person in the White House who is totally unqualified and so mentally deficient that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and can’t be told because he must be adored by those who could help him or out they go.  I hope the damage he will do can be limited, but I fear it cannot and I hate that.  I hate being made afraid.  I am indeed mad as hell about it.

I won’t be made to hate 45.  It’s not healthy.  Now that I think about it, that silent thing I have been trying to do may not be good for me either.  Maybe it would be healthier for me to speak my mind and let the other guys blood pressure rise.  Maybe make them to sick to vote.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  I’m baaack.


I think . . .