I don't expect to be reincarnated,
so I'll blog about dying and death (with appropriate irreverence) while I'm still alive.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Forgive and forget, or ignore and move on?

We've all heard the phrase "forgive and forget." I seldom forget, and if I remember, I seldom forgive.

At a high school reunion about 25 years ago, I was approached by another man.

Years earlier, when his hair was darker and greasier, "Rick" was known as "Daddy Demon." He was probably one of just two Jewish juvenile delinquents in New Haven.

Rick smiled, said “Hi, howya been?” and he raised his right hand to shake mine.
I kept my right hand at my side.

I reminded Rick that in the fall of 1958, when we were both in the seventh grade, on the way home from school, he and a couple of other 12-year-old hoods ambushed me for no discernible reason. Rick poked holes in both of my bicycle tires and then he snuffed out a cigarette on my head. 

A few months later, Rick’s posse held me down on the ground with my mouth forced open so they could spit into it. Later on, one of them stabbed me in the pool at our country club.

I did not shake Rick’s hand.

I did tell Rick to go fuck himself.

I still remembered a lot. 

Fast-forward to a few days ago. Rick wanted to join an online group that I administer. My initial reaction was to ignore him -- a polite way of saying "go fuck yourself" again.

I thought about my decision. I've held a grudge against an evil, sadistic bully for 55 years, the vast majority of my life, and now he wanted -- or needed -- something from me. 

Unlike that day in 1958, I now had power over him. I was in a position to show the mercy that he and his posse did not show. 

I clearly did not forget what they did, and cannot forgive it -- but I can choose to ignore it. 

Maybe Rick on Social Security is not the same person that the pre-teen Rick was.

I've done a few crappy things in my life ('tho I was never a bully) and I'd like my transgressions to be ignored.

So, I let Rick into the group.

If I meet him again, maybe I'll be willing to shake his hand. I probably won't tell him to go fuck himself. I'd probably like to have a conversation with him. I'd like to know what diabolical influences turned him into Daddy Demon, and how he outgrew the demon.

Maybe by being nice to a former nemesis, I outgrew a demon of my own.

I definitely feel better now.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I may have lost "it" -- but didn't lose it.

On Thursday I prepared to take the train from CT to NYC for Book Expo America. I thought I put my cellphone and two bars of Bonomo Turkish Taffy in my shoulder bag.

When I got on the train, I wanted to call home and tell my wife I had made the train, but could not find the phone. I went through the bag over and over again and finally gave up, assuming I had never put the stuff in the bag.

At the show I was not able to communicate properly with wife or office. There apparently are no pay phones at Javits Center. I was able to borrow cellphones and stay in touch minimally. 

When I got back to CT I scoured the car and house. I inspected every likely and unlikely place. I called AT&T to determine whether anyone had used my missing phone. No one had.

A few minutes ago I heard the tell-tale notes of "Louie-Louie" -- my ring tone -- coming from the same shoulder bag I had schlepped to NY and back.

I started ransacking the bag for the umpteenth time and discovered a hidden compartment containing my phone and taffy. They made the round trip with me. If someone had tried to call me in NY, "Louie" would've helped me find the phone.

BTW, I deliberately bought my Nokia Lumia 920 in red to make it hard to misplace. Earlier this year it was misplaced for a month.