I didn’t realise how emotionally fragile I was until that moment.
The little blind girl with the walking stick – maybe 7-years-old and in-between the size of my two little boys – was coming out of our private health club swimming pool with her attendant mother lovingly guiding her towards the family showers. I was walking behind them, having just finished exercising upstairs. As her mother wrapped a towel over her modest frame, the little girl sweetly raised her concern about the noisy automatic flushing toilets located in the individual shower/bathrooms they were about to enter. I, too, passionately hated these toilets for their touchy sensors, which created a disturbingly frequent commotion, wasting water all the while, just when you’re trying to have a relaxing shower after a workout or swim. Not that I hadn’t devised a low-cost and fail-proof solution. How could I not share with this loving mother and daughter?
So I very gently interrupted their conversation, sure not to startle either, and offered a suggestion to minimize the auditory abuse being rendered to this dearest of little things:i simply place a piece of toilet paper over the flushing toilet sensor so that they could shower and change in peace. The mother genuinely appreciated the gesture, warmly thanked me the way only a well-rested and put-together mother could, and prompted her quiet daughter to thank me as well. With blind eyes darting in futility from side-to-side and up-and-down, her head pointed only vaguely in my direction, the little girl softly thanked me as well. I held a hand over my heart for their kind consideration and stepped into the adjacent bathroom, my breathing deepening at the edge of whimpering as I counted my seemingly endless blessings.ii
Now, I’m not always that helpful and attentive to strangers, but something about that little blind girl with the walking stick pulled at my frequently blackened heartstrings. It was a wild, intense week and I’d worn through more of my usual stoic-composure-slash-head-in-the-clouds-dreaminessiii than I’d realized. It was then that I acknowledged that I’d pushed myself harder with less sleep and more intensity than usual for several weeks, and that Friday’s crescendo of crazy hard aping into even more NFTs, a reflexive EXPLOSION!!1 of said NFT market, BTCW going public that morning, my first podcast interview that afternoon, and, that evening, my first poker game with good friends in too many years after a gruelling pandemic had kept us apart, was all way more excitement than my delicateiv body could handle. My defences exhausted, my fatigue showing, I texted my dear love to let her know that my semi-annual emotional outpouring appeared to be locked and loaded, and that I had absolutely no idea when it would go off, so she should prepare herself (and her comforting shoulder) because it wouldn’t be long before I had to let it all out.
Knowing that the alternative would hurt even more, I couldn’t help but think of the sweet little girl with the walking stick.
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- She was so small, so sweet, and so dependent on the kindness and compassion of others… I just… ↩
- I’m pretty darn noise sensitive, light sensitive, and actually reasonably blind, but glasses still allow me to see and I’m old enough to navigate a noisy, 5K colour temperature world (with a bit of help from my Bose QC35s, EIZO screens, George Nelson lamps, and tinted lenses). Neither were my sweet boys faced with such immense obstacles, and in that moment I wanted to hug them both with all my heart and thank higher powers for making them so healthy, capable, beautiful, and strong. ↩
- Can a stoic be generally positive and enthusiastic? Must embracing amor fati be so gloomy and, well, Slavic? My Med half thinks not! ↩
- I’m reasonably strong and athletic at this point in my life (healthy supplies of naturally occurring testosterone are a hell of a drug) but goddamit if I’m not also a bit of a Ferrari, viz. high performance but also very high maintenance! I need a lot of sleep, regular exercise, lots of introvert time, a certain amount of socialising, a very specific diet that includes surprising quantities of salads, smoothies, and coffee, and a whole shed load more pedantry besides that I shan’t bore you with right now. Maybe this is why I’m in no hurry to buy an actual rosso corsa F-car? And why I’d rather by jpegs for that kind of coin? I need my possessions to be robust as fuck in order to balance out my obvious human frailty! ↩