Wednesday, August 10, 2011
#273: Knocking At Your Back Door
I found him a shrubbery. It wasn’t a pretty shrubbery, but he could move into it whenever he wanted to and live in peace and quiet. He was overjoyed, but dismayed as he’d have to find a way to break his agreement with the owner of the place that makes Borstal look good. “Jeez,” I said, “I can fix that.” I then picked up my tin can on a string and spoke to the owner, who was happy that our lad had found his own shrubbery. All was good. We then piled into the Flintstone car and visited the shrubbery. We moved him in the following week.
All was good. He’d have his moments though. He didn’t know how to clean the bottom of his shrubbery, after all he’d been in and out of places since he could remember, abused and abandoned. I bought a mop, bucket and some cleaning products, took them to him and showed him how to clean his shrubbery. While there I noticed that someone had moved in, so I told them to leave, which they did. I then told our lad that his shrubbery was just that – his shrubbery, and that he shouldn’t allow people to move in. He agreed, but damn, it was hard when people asked because he didn’t have many chums, and who cared if they sold things they shouldn’t? I liked him in with more gardeners.
After a fashion the good gardeners fell away as our lad just stopped visiting them. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to visit, it’s just that he often forgot, or was just too silent, so people forgot about him. I kept working with him though and he was happy. We had bad monkeys move nearby and we went to court, our lad came along and I was with him all the way. The bad monkeys left and our lad was happy that he’d done the right thing. Then things happened.
This world is neither kind, nor is it just, nor is it fair. It abandons the people who need help the most so that those who do not need, nor deserve good things can have them. People talk about the ‘legacies’ that they leave behind. Next time an ape says that near me I’m going to tell them, exactly, what kind of a legacy that they have left behind. A legacy of broken people, broken lives and cracks so massive that people don’t slip through them, entire buildings fall deep into them without ever hitting the sides. When some apes retire, millionaires, to the shores of the Mediterranean, when they slip off to make more wealth for themselves, perhaps one day they’ll hear the voices of those perfect strangers as they call into the wind, they won't know who it is or what they want, but they'll hear them. And even then, as they do now, they'll ignore them.
In the meantime, this week at least, I’ll keep walking in the rain, that way everyone will continue to think I’m tough and heartless because they’ll not see any tears running down my cheeks. The Bear told me, "You can't save everyone," and she's right. But I can try, and when I fail, it hurts. Perhaps they were right when they told me I wasn't cut out for that line of work. I'm not detached enough.
Thank Buddha for that.