Friday, September 28, 2018

I am always late

I am always late.
I am always late.

I wish I had prayed daily to one of my ancestors each day I was teaching high school, because I was never late to class once the entire time, and that would have counted as their first miracle for their canonization cause.

I don’t know how that happened. But, yes, I absolutely am bragging about it, and will continue to do so, because it is proof that I am responsible with my time, if given enough incentive—the incentive in this case losing face before twenty-seven high schoolers waiting for you to come to class—I am not about to look like a fool in front of a small mob of fifteen year-olds. Please, I have some dignity.

So, the other day I was running late, and it was getting worse than usually because:

Signing up for benefits takes longer than anticipated, especially when bogged down by existential crisis prompted by choosing a beneficiary for health insurance; there were no Lime Bikes in my vicinity; and I generally try to run five to ten minutes late to dinner parties as a rule because I am not a heathen, but I forget some people worship the god Punctuality, and it was looking like those sorts of folks were hosting the gathering.

In the middle of already being late, I encountered a late person’s greatest gift: a really, really good excuse for being late.  As I entered the subdivision, I saw a puppy

Usually I think words will fix situations. I believe in words, I believe in the power and impact they have had upon me and I imagine they will have that same impact on other people.

I want words to solve arguments, I want them to resolve disputes, fix what ails the world.

I do not think they will though. And this is my continual issue with being late: my words can't make me on time. Sometimes you just have to show up.

Sometimes you just have to corner the puppy and scoop down and grab the small little dog by its harness, and scoop her in your arms. The puppy is trembling, shaking, clearly frightened out of her small mind.
But you squeeze her to your chest, and you kiss her little head, and scratch her behind the ears and say: "It's gonna be okay. You're okay. You're okay. You're okay."

There is something about showing up and squeezing a stray dog that seems to me to encapsulate what we are supposed to be, who we are called to be for this world that meanders, which wanders, lost and scared.

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