Not that I’m complaining or anything, but it’s been eight weeks since I felt “good.” And by good, I just mean healthy and normal. I realize this is no big deal compared with people suffering from disease or chronic illness or being pregnant, but it’s not what I’m used to.
First it was a cold, then it was the back spasms. Then, when the back spasms were finally starting to calm down and I was feeling almost normal and it didn’t hurt to sleep or ride my bike or just sit at my desk at work, I tore my arm open and saw one of my own bones for the first time in my life. Somewhere in there was another crash that was a bit on the painful side as well.
Those who know me only through this blog may not have noticed a difference in my mood or demeanor through all of this. After all, nasty, cynical, critical posts are de rigueur around here and perhaps are the reason some of you read in the first place. My dear wife describes some of these posts as being a bit harsh.
But since I don’t mind being a bit harsh and even enjoy it and find it humorous more often than not, I’ve let the moments, such as happened to me on Saturday, when observing something as mundane as a woman walking around rocky terrain in high heels set off a cascade of ideas so staggering that I had to interrupt my ride to make notes for the blog post, just write themselves into lengthy, wild-eyed rants sure to offend at least someone, if not a close friend or family member. (How was that for a sentence? Seriously, I tried to break it down, but if you define a sentence as a complete thought, putting a period in there, even if just to break things up and give the reader a rest, would have been superfluous.)
Anyway, my point in all this is that me being harsh in the blog is nothing out of the ordinary. But I’ve noticed that not feeling so hot for eight weeks straight has affected my non-blogging mood as well. As a result I’m feeling harsh in other venues where I otherwise wouldn’t. Perhaps not so much around people I’m familiar with, but certainly in public places and with total strangers.
Case in point: yesterday as I was walking to the dealer for a fix, I heard the sound of someone running behind me, in my direction. Ordinarily, I’d think “someone’s late for the bus—don’t hog the sidewalk.” But yesterday I thought “is it a mugger in downtown SLC? What do I have that this person wants?” Fight or flight was about to kick in when the woman caught me, bus schedule in hand, on her way to the stop.
Then, on the way back to the office, I saw a guy in funny-looking pants with a counter-culture hairstyle and facial hair. Clearly, he was just an urbanite, perhaps a musician, who can dress like that every day and not laugh at himself when he looks in the mirror. Someone dressed like that would typically not even register, and I may even perhaps be a bit jealous that he had the confidence and sense of style to pull it off.
(Speaking of confidence, have you ever noticed the confidence with which some black men walk in an urban setting? I saw a guy, right before the encounter with late-for-the-bus lady, that had such an air about him as he walked that I was jealous. There was nothing exaggerated or pretentious about it, he just walked down the sidewalk as if he belonged and the whole city had been built for the sole purpose of him walking through it early that afternoon.)
Apparently, however, my mood was such that I wore disdain for this stranger on my face. He looked at me, in no doubt responding to me looking at him, longer than I was comfortable with. I thought about hitting him.
At that point I knew something was wrong. Perhaps Dug was right, and I am off my meds. Perhaps the pain medication that ties my stomach and brain in knots would do wonders for my mood. Perhaps I just need to ride more and work some of this out of my system. Regardless, I’m glad I didn’t hit the guy. Even though I’m pretty sure I could have taken him, wearing funny pants is not a crime.