In an attempt to cheer myself up I send out invitations to an impromptu BBQ for Sunday and then I get all lycra’d up and head to the gym.
I slip past two innocuous middle-aged men standing into the doorway of the gym. They are smoking.
‘Smoking outside the gym? Very brave.’ I josh
‘You have a problem with that?’ replies one flatly.
I glance over my shoulder at him. His tone was really nasty. The other chap had laughed with me and now looks at his friend and falters... This mean one is fatter and redder. He wants to fight me. He actually want to fight me…..in the morning …with the sun shining..and for nothing more then the fact that he thinks I was being sarcastic about him smoking……I stop, astounded and he stares at me with narrowed piggy eyes, oozing such hatred I feel like he has already pushed his smouldering cigarette into my face.
‘I..err.. no.. ‘, I try and keep my tone light. I am past him now. ‘I just thought it was funny.’
‘Oh reeeally,’ the man says sarcasm streaking his voice with bile. He turns his considerable bulk and is now set for a physical confrontation. He is twice my size.
I have choices and consult my inner me(s);
Stressed-Out-Hippie-Child-Me has had enough and suggests just sitting on floor and screaming until they come with white coats and take me away. ‘Interesting’ I tell Hippie, ‘but potentially bad on the CV.’
Psycho-Ninja-Me wants to dive into a forward roll and power up on the man’s left side (he is a right handed smoker) punching upward, with the knuckles of my right fist, smash his nose sending shards of bone up into his brain. It would take me under 30 seconds.
This I like and linger over however the potential karma problem makes murder a little unappealing. (Plus shards of bone in this man’s frontal lobe may actually make not one bit of difference at all.)
Me-In-The –Real-World sighs and ensures I do the only sensible thing; turn around and walk away.
This episode clogs up my mind and I feel a little poisoned by it all but it is too late to cancel the BBQ.
My neighbour floats wide eyed as per, into the house an hour early. (I have left the bloody doors open)
I leap out of the loo where I have been attempting to put eye drops in.
‘God you look exhausted,’ she says with interest.
‘That doesn’t help,’ she says floating off.
I put on make up too thickly, only caring that people can’t see the bags under my eyes. It results in me looking like a slightly melted half price version of Stevie Nicks circa 1984.. I put on dark glasses. I then take off the dark glasses so I can find my way to the garden.
Guests come. I feed them, sit and chat for a few minutes, then run to the bathroom and whimper. There seem to be a lot of guests and a lot of running to the bathroom and after a few hours I give up on the whimpering as I am worn out, I realise that actually it is a lovely day and the BBQ is going down very well with everyone. I lighten up.
Eventually I am alone again with enough food to feed a small Zambian village and none of it..of course..freezable ..ah the guilt.
I am cheered reading my friends news from around the world. In Nogorob House my friend faces down lions in her dreams and stares into the hearts of elephants. In Jo’burg another gives thanks for Cape Town storms and wine and in Toronto the Beautiful A’s gallery blossoms. Another friend debates the intricacies of forgiveness.
I think about the mean man from the gym. He must be actually quite miserable to be so defensive. And he smokes poor sod. And he made himself look like an idiot in front of his mate. Ah sod it. I forgive him. (But – and here’s to you ‘family affairs’ I won’t forget!)