“They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I hear Lauryn Hill in my head singing this one loud, on repeat, echoing behind me when I am being attacked and tormented by the Ironic Jukebox that lives deep inside my cerebral cortex. Haven’t you experienced this? Like when you (I) offer the lady your seat on the bus because she is pregnant and it seems too obvious that there is no way she is not carrying? But she is not, and now you biffed big time? Because you got up cheerfully, telling her that she needs it more because of the baby inside?… This is about good deeds gone bad. This is not to disuade anyone ever from doing something kind, but is to draw on the comical, the ironic, and the ridiculous boomerang effect that takes place every now and again when you have nothing but good thoughts in mind. I think it just might the devil on dial. Somehow he temporarily dislodged from the hot gates of hell and he’s at the control board and the mo-fo has got some dark-ass-humor. Kiiiinda dig it.
That being said, I’ve been feeling rather spritely lately. I’m thinking the spring has shaken something loose. Makes we wanna do something nice for the sake of nothing in particular. I wanna skip but I don’t because I want my lady-swagger, so I move cat-walk style on the streets and around town, and skip a bunch on the inside. Despite it raining like a maniac today (I think Mother Nature is PMSing or something), people out here are starting to stir and be over-the-top sweet to each other. Anyone else out there take notice of this?
Ex: People stop when I try to cross the street. Don’t matta if there are a bunch of cars behind them and I could have just as easily taken the cross walk. Or there are no cars behind them and they could have gone at regular speed and not made such a grand gesture of an event by slowing down and stopping unnecessarily. It’s dumb. I’m partially grateful because of the intention, but the rest of me actually prefers that people obey the rules of the road and get on with it. It’s simply more efficient. Don’t tell anyone that I said that I appreciate a rule. Please. Ok.
Today I was walking my (radical) dog in the rain and decided to cross the street. I was waiting on the curb for the cars to go by (and no, I wasn’t standing in the street) and a car stops out of nowhere for me to cross~ creating a pile up. For fucks sake. Nice one.
It’s the thought that counts?
Several years ago, in my hippy-nouveau days, I took this yogic workshop that focused on Ujjayi breathing. (I was the youngest person there and it blew my (not so) baby mind to be mixing with all of these middle-age, innocuously-strange, middle-class, workers -something rare in Portland as we are a town of retired 30-somethings.) It was a week-long workshop consisting of homework and practice routines and everything. Very involved. One of our assignments was to perform a random act of kindness. I was determined to be as unique and creative as possible. I talked to my roommate at length about ideas which he shot down repeatedly with the caveat of my actions being misinterpreted. Finally he left for work and I was left to my own devices. I wanted to do something that would reach completely stray people. I wanted to encourage them and have them think somebody out there really cared. I settled on the idea of writing anonymous love letters to strangers. Yes I sure did! Phone book in my lap, I pointed slapdash, at where ever my finger landed, wrote down their names and addresses, and mustered up some genuine sentiment for each person. I really tried to meditate on who they were and what kind of message they might have been needing. I felt the vibes. And really- who knows? Maybe the universe brought it. Either way, I did. And I did it 10x. I made ten different personalized and pretty envelopes. I wrote things along the lines of acting like I was someone from their past or someone on the periphery who had noticed big and beautiful changes and growth in them, and I wanted to acknowledge and applaud them in that… This likely took several hours. I do not recall. It sure felt good though! Off to the depths of the mailbox they went, and when my roommate got home and inquired about my project, acted slightly horrified. “What if you cause a fight between couples?” “What if someone thinks their man is cheating with you (but of course I hadn’t included a return address)?” “What if they get scared that they are being watched?!” Well shit. The god-damn flip side. Buzzzzz kill. Good intentions gone awry? I may never know.
One other example I will give you is as follows. It was a couple of summers ago, on a particularly hot day. I was walking passed a highly foot-trafficked intersection where this dude was laying, passed-out on the ground. I swear I watched a bus pull up, people get out, and walk around the guy. Nobody stopped. Now granted, dude was gnarly looking. Crusty street kid, probably in his late twenties/ early thirties. He was shirtless, black pants, tattoos all around, and homey was frying there on the sidewalk. For really red. Zoinks! So up I go to see if I can help. I whisper gently to him and rouse him from his drug induced sleep. His eyes rolled slowly from the back of his head as he looked around trying to get his bearings. I informed him that he was passed out in the middle of the sidewalk and that he better go find some shade if he needs to sleep because he was burning baby burning. He got up, dazed and confused (no really! I get it now!) and stumbled into the street, nearly causing a few accidents, and smashing hard into this old man. He thinks the old man pushed him, so he pushes the poor old guy into the street! Luckily there were no cars there at the moment! I had created a monster. I truly considered calling the police. Eesh.
Anyways, those are two of my tales of the flip side of things. I have no moral to this story. Shit happens. Moral enough for ya?
I would love to hear your experiences along these lines. Entertain me por fa!