I didn’t make it to the noon meeting of the Albany County Human Rights Coalition. It’s not easy to park around Lark, and I wasn’t at all sure what benefit my presence would have, but I did get ready to go and punted.
When I saw myself in the mirror I had reservations. I couldn’t see anything but a big slab of flesh dressed silly. When I can’t see anything good, and the world has limits, well, it’s hard to get the energy up.
One of the reasons I have had reservations is because I have had to spend a lot of time making reservations. After spending Tuesday morning making reservations for them, I spent a half hour on Tuesday night trying to get through to my parents in Lafayette, Louisiana. Then, yesterday I spoke to them early before they drove into new Orleans. Last night I had to dial a dozen times to get though in Jackson Missisippi, listen to my mother talk over a heinous hum coming from computer equipment in their bad room, and have my father pull out the broken phone plug. I redialed for 20 minutes, getting busy, and when I got through the computer system didn’t have them properly registered so I couldn’t dial trough to their room.
This morning it was three more calls to that buzzfest, while trying to help them understand their options and to choose someplace for tonight in Monroe Louisiana. All of this ended at about 11:10 this morning, 10:10 their time, just when I needed to leave. All this and one of those brusque “You better have the hard things done when we get home,” well, it made it hard to see anything in the mirror but a shithead in a dress.
It’s so easy to have reservations and not committ to the power and beauty I know I have inside me. The line from Sondheim’s Company echoes through me, “Want something, Robert. Want something.” What I want isn’t different from what other people want: I want someone to see me and smile like I make them happy. It’s just that isn’t something that comes easily. It starts with being centered, self confident and potent, and then expressing that in the world with joy, freedom and release.
Me? I have reservations. And the spiral of those reservations, well, if you can’t be present, why go? Too much effort.
My sister used to tell the same joke at the Thanksgiving table for years. “Why is there always room for Jell-o? Because Jell-o calls ahead for reservations.”
My reservations are renewed all the time. It’s just that I the reservations I have don’t lead me anywhere but to the thought that checking out is the best choice.