The hotel we are staying in has both a Health Club and a Starbucks and, along with a trendy bar, is a hit with the locals. Over the weekend we've seen people streaming in and out of the hotel. I've been struggling to get over a cough that's be plaguing me for several days, so Sunday I just stayed in. After breakfast we asked the front desk if our room could be made up so that I could then snuggle in it for most of the day.
We went to Starbucks for a tea while we waited. We took a table that was easy to access with the chair. Off to the side was a man of about 40 who was lounging with a cup of fancy style coffee. He looked like he was on the way into or out of the gym. He radiated fitness and health. He looked up at us when we came in and then away with a grimace - perhaps of disgust, perhaps of loathing - I don't know and get so i don't care.
Joe helped get the footrests up and then said he wanted to get some postcards from teh room for us to do while we waited. Shortly after, our nieghbour got up to refill his coffee, I heard him speak to the clerk who he obviously knew well. "I wonder if these people know what burdens they are to others and if they actually choose to inflict their needs onto society."
He'd said it loud enough for me to hear.
I didn't respond.
I hate to admit this, but I had been wondering something similar myself over the last couple of months. There is so much more I need than I did before. The amount of work Joe has to do to get me from place to place. The need I have of specialized transportation at home. My application for a power wheelchair. My heavy use of the drug benefit through work. Sometimes I feel like a user. Sometimes I wonder who benefits from the struggle to go on ...
I'm not suicidal, never have been, don't understand it ... but I do get down. Sometimes life seems hard and people seem mean. Why did that man, that day, have to enter into my world with negativity. I was already down from having this cough and having to stay in for the day. What need I of him?
But I get up today ready to go back to the work of living. And part of the work of living is to keep purpose in front and asinine comments in the trash.
And besides, there are needs to be inflicted on others - and I'm the man to do it.