Safety First

The good news is that I could start the snow blower.

The bad news is that it is out of gas and that the safety elf tightened the top on the jerry can to make it unopenably except by said safety elf – who is currently in Afghanistan.

Now don’t mistake me, safety elf has taken great care to ensure I can perform such acts (like clearing the snow) which require a physical strength or stamina that ebbs and flows and may not be present on a day to day basis – like buying the best snow blower on the market to content with the hellish winter’s snow accumulation. And I appreciate these preparations whole heartedly. But I am continually bemused and confounded by safety elf.

Leaving shoes, clothes and backpacks on the floor strategically positioned to trip me and add to my fear of falling; using the safety stored gasoline to start a fire in the back yard pit that results in an explosion heard neighbourhood wide and brings out the haz mat team in search of a cook; driving with knees as hands are busy smoking and drinking coffee… small things admittedly, but odd and confounding in the face of safety elf’s obsession with locking, hiding, squirreling away combustibles and shredding AND burning any mail that contains personal information such as name or address.

Perhaps the theme here is fire? Does safety elf harbour a pyro within?

Is it possible that this is simply the remnants of the primordial fascinated with creating things that go bang and boom? More importantly, is there primacord hidden in my garage?

Surprise safety elf! I had a new garage built while you were away!

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Belts, I hate them

I’ve tried to avoid the use of belts and for many years was able to manage my clothing without one. However, with the face in the mirror telling me my age and my body telling me the type of clothes I will buy, I find an unpleasant truth – I need a belt. Either that or a tailor to alter my clothes.

So I tried the belt today. I can honestly say I still hate them. That and the tag at the back of my shirt could have pushed me over the edge today. I could have snapped. I just want you to all know how close it was – complete meltdown was imminent but avoided through the judicial use of tylenol and a suture cutter.

The belt was still making my clothes touch me around the middle but by offsetting the tag overload I was able to withstand the noxious stimuli and get on with the job of pushing papers around my desk. It was certainly a difficult day – what with maintenance changing the light bulbs and searing our corneas with new florescence, clothing tags, belts and who knows what else? I made an executive decision to cut and run before I had complete filter failure.

Weirdness doesn’t even come close.

Tis the season

There seems to be quite a few unhappy people out there these days. I would even put forward that the seasonal post Christmas suicides have made an early start.

I’m not going to make callous, unfeeling remarks about how to get it right like some jaded healthcare worker. I’m just going to note that since mid November there have been more than the average suicide attempts admitted. I can only imagine how bad it is going to get as the Christmas joy starts to increase.

Now I don’t even pretend to understand this kind os sadness and despair, but a few months ago I had a birthday, and on that birthday I got a gift. It was a glimpse, just a tiny sliver of despair, hopelessness and sadness. At the time it felt monumental, so much greater than I and a burden that could not be shaken off. Within that despair I could see, almost see, how someone could think that suicide might be a suitable way out. I could not find pleasure in the simple things like bare feet on hardwood floors or comfort in seeing the light in the attic across the alley letting me know I am home. It was horribly, horribly wrong and blank.

Rest assured, the door was not open to me, but I could see it, although faintly and it was a long long way off – a journey too difficult for me to make. And so I cried a bit, felt very sorry, very sad and tried my damnedest to get on with living.

After a good sleep and the company of those who love me I woke from the greyness to discover my feet on the floor and the light in the attic. The time spent in that wrong place, half a step in the grey dimension is not something I want to repeat, though I know that it is quite possible I will go there again. It does not seem to be a matter of choice, but rather a matter of illness without any knowledge of how to avoid the contagion. If only it were so simple as good hand washing or eating more salads.

And while I don’t know the answers, I do have a tiny bit more awareness of what life might be like for those who think a suicide will alleviate their pain. I aim to never get a good understanding, but to gain compassion for those lost in the fog.