Thursday, 28 February 2013

Walking Behind Keyser Söze

Subjectivity has been on my mind lately.

In one way, it's helped me clarify a lot of things - especially about how I tend to view other people with regards to my own performance, or opinions, or general ways of existing. I have a bad habit of seeing things only in relation to myself, which can be an incredibly dangerous and stupid thing to do.

Generally speaking, most of the time we think that someone's angry at us, or thinking ill of us, etc., we're not even on their radar. It's something I learned a long time ago from a woman I used to know named Valerie. She used to suggest to me, when I'd complain to her that everyone was out to get me, that I sure had balls to think that I was so important that people would be thinking about ME above everything else they had to think about in their lives.

I love that idea. I love reminding myself that, for the most part, I'm just not that important. Somehow, it makes me feel better.

The new job is going well. At least I'm pretty sure it is. I'm enjoying the hell out of it, anyway, if that's anything to measure success by, which it probably isn't. But just the same, I get to Friday afternoon now, and think to myself, 'I've EARNED this weekend.' It's a nice feeling.

But the point is that there have been a lot of things going on where people are certain to have taken things personally, when there wasn't anything personal about the situation, or the task at hand. And there have been definite times when various people have dug in their heels and simply refused to do what was asked of them. And the funny part is that in the time spent in refusal and explanation of said refusal, the requested task probably could have been done twice over.

And all because someone thought that the situation was about THEM, instead of it being about the SITUATION.


Granny Söze knitted these.
There's a woman who lives in my village. She's a functioning human being, and she's got a job, and friends, and a schedule...normal. Except she's NOT. She's a person who, for whatever reason, came out wrongly. Her body isn't put together right. She speaks, but it's hard to understand her because of the way her mouth works. She wears mittens, not gloves, because her fingers aren't right. And she walks differently, because her legs don't work the way legs ought to work. They work just fine, but not properly.

And I see this woman just about every day - going about her business, commuting, joining in various community activities, cracking jokes with the bus driver and the train manager. And at the end of our journey, she gets off the bus, and says good bye, and goes home. And I walk behind her as she walks up the hill, and I see her go in her front door. And she does what I do - hangs up her jacket, puts her keys on the hook, opens her post, wonders what's for tea, and settles into her evening.

But it's all subjective, isn't it? I worry about getting older, and getting wrinkles, and trying to stay up to speed with what the 'kids' are doing. I worry about getting fat, about my escaping youth, about trying to be the mom/wife/employee/woman in the magazines adverts, or the IDEA of that person.

My neighbour probably worries about all that, too. But where I sit and think about how I'm never going to be the beauty on the big screen, or have the flawless face I wished I'd had when I was 21...I wonder about the bars we set ourselves. Does my neighbour sit and think that she'll never be able to walk like normal people? Does she wonder what it's like to have a face that's shaped so that she can talk without a speech impediment? While I'm sitting here thinking about how fat my ass is getting, I have to stop and get a grip on myself.

My legs work. My face is shaped so that my words come out correctly, even if what I say isn't the right thing sometimes. I can wear gloves AND mittens, because I've got two hands with long fingers. I can wear any shoes I like, because my feet are the same size as each other, and they've got the correct number of toes on each one.

Keyser Söze had the option that most people don't have. In the end, he straightened up his crooked body, walked away, effortlessly climbed into the back of a car, and disappeared.

But the rest of us don't have that option. We are who we are - and sometimes we can't just straighten up our crooked bodies and walk away. When I think about this, and I look at people every day, I realize that we're all struggling with some sort of thing -- we've all got our own versions of hands that fit only into mittens.