And I think that’s part of the problem. I’ve found if you really listen to people you tend to see them just as they are: unmelodious notes in the symphony of your day.
I don’t know if it’s because they have two or three thoughts at one time and end up in some unharmonious stew or their short attention has spanned to fraying, but the clunkers come loud and clear to me.
This morning started out with a few things that had to be rushed through the blender of my day before fading to the clamoring hum that is the conveyor belt of life.
This was, of course, before the door opened and in walked a rather frazzled woman. She began speaking at break-throat speed with no discernable destination. The conversation was as jagged as a snowflakes dendrites.
After a few minutes of doing my best to sort out this conversation, I could tell I was heading in the right direction. Once I completed my actual work, the woman slowed her G-force to tell me about her day.
It seems she’d just returned from a friends burial. That’s never a pleasant experience. I offered my condolences and stopped. I hear of friends and neighbors and tenants deaths every week. In my experience it’s best to commiserate and stand.
Whatever they’re thinking is their private moment to hold or share. It’s there choice. And they always choose to share. And I always choose to stand. As silly as that sounds, many times, all people need is someone near them so they feel their words are reaching someone.
After telling me what kind of guy he was (funny, life of the party, hard drinkin’ fellow) she decided to go into the cause of his death. He was injured while hanging in the backyard with his friends. After he got knocked on his ass, they thought he was joking so didn’t pay much attention to him rolling around the yard.
Joking around, as I do, this is a concern of mine. So, right here, I will publicly state that, if I’m joking but end up bleeding profusely, dazed, unresponsive, headless, etc. (if you have any question about my ‘joking’ here’s a rule of thumb: if I’m inert, I’m hurt) you don’t have to stop laughing but, give me a cursory check. Thanks.
Because this guy didn’t set forth these guidelines, he died. Actual facts are, as often in these stories, hazy, but, the facts are the internal damage done done him in. While his friends partied on. The woman looks at me and shrugs her shoulders.
“Guess there’s worse ways to go out.” She pauses to adjust things she’d scattered onto the counter back into her purse. “They said nobodies gonna get in trouble. They said they ruled his death as caused by myth-adventure.”
Because I’m listening, I paused. Did I hear that or had my instinct to juggle words kicked in? I look at her and she says,
“Myth-adventure. What a way to go.”
She begins to leave and all I can envision is the guy is playing in his mystical candy corn covered backyard with his gnome friends when he was gored by a unicorn.
I really should rethink this really listening thing.