In the dusk of a beautiful, warm evening, I am at my laptop with my ear buds engaged. I am reading e- mail, listening to music and thinking about nothing in  particular, sitting on the deck of The Book Nook. Simply being. It seems obvious I am not here to be social as I slouch in my chair and keep my eyes on the screen.

I feel the vibration of someone coming up the stairs of the deck and sense someone sitting at the next table. I do not look up. I am being.

Hi! Nice evening. Yes, I reply, not wanting to be rude to the man on my left. He starts talking about the Glen and how great it is. I nod. He then carries on with some gossip, including a story about an old man  who resides permanently at the Glen, how he gets his groceries, and how his companion dog keeps him safe. I pull the left ear bud out and replace it, hoping he will notice I am plugged in and otherwise not available to talk. He continues, sharing living in Manitoba and how he was forced off his land because it was sold. Does he have an awareness of how he is, I ask myself. He adds how his neighbor allowed him to use his wi – fi, but the neighbor’s wife wouldn’t give him the new password. His disrespectful words about this woman and women in general left me feeling bristly. Fighting internally with myself, I want to respond to his judgements, but I would lose this fight with myself. I could engage him and he would never go away, or I could not speak up and maybe he would go away.  It was a lose – lose situation for me.  He told me he had leg cancer and pointed to the scar and the loss of muscle from his arm, used to build up the knee. 50 doses of radiation. Empathy and compassion would be a normal reaction upon hearing this. My eyes went back to my laptop and my fingers back to their hunt and peck. Feeling the rub of going against my grain, I did not respond. Did you know cardiac by -pass surgery is now done through the back rather than the thorax? Normally the nurse in me would take this comment to another level. I look up in acknowledgment and say silently to myself, Go Away. He continues to talk. I continue to do my best to ignore him. I have rested enough he says finally, as he pulls himself up from the chair. Nice talking to you, he adds. I nod.

The intrusion of this man bothered me for some time. He had stolen my wanting to be alone. My time for being. I then asked myself if I had an awareness of how I was? non – communicative and lack of eye contact with every subject he raised, in hopes of engaging with me. He, like I, was being. Perhaps, at this time, his being is connecting with others, while my being was not connecting. Some how we interrupted each other’s being. His need to connect and my need to be alone. And somehow, neither of us achieved this. We were two people at the crossroads of being.

Is this lack of synchronization a universal fart?


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