Monday, March 26, 2012

Stay of Execution

I have been to court, you know. Quite a bit. Hardly ever, overall, on my own behalf. Toward the end there, yes, it was about me, somehow, and a lot now that I pause to consider the matter. Went on for years, actually. Changed my personality. But there was a time when I knew all the Juvenile Halls, and all the Juvenile Courts, in LA. Well, as I constantly affirm, I am a fool. But the last time I had a traffic thing was in the mid-90s. A left turn that a cop didn't like. And last month I did something not dissimilar, and was awarded a citation for it.

So I have been in a state of very real anxiety for this last month. Completely irrational, but there it is. Catastrophizing, even though I know it's just a little traffic thing. But nowadays it seems these things can be taken care of entirely online. No need for the early-morning court appearance, before a judge and a prosecutor. That's how it used to be. In those days, before the Fall, I had no real anxiety in this regard. But the mind bleeds, and a psychic trauma leaks into adjacent brain tissue, and eventually the whole system is poisoned. A septic soul. It's a theory that explains sexual fetishes, and also pervading and irrational anxieties. I don't have any fetishes. I am controlled by anxiety.

I managed to communicate that I had a concern over this, and some generous soul took me in hand and led me through the online steps. It just about -- not quite but almost -- brings me to tears, the relief, and the associated casual human kindness. But it's like being a parent. That's how I see being a father. Lessons should be taught through patience, and gentleness. Not always, only, through blame and anger and punishment. We need the quiet calming humor and the compassionate hand and the steady example, the normality, that maturity radiates. We need it the way we need forgiveness and grace. Otherwise the world is the way I see it in my dark hours, and a world like that is unworthy of the life it contains.

So that's a load off. I have been given a small but significant blessing. Now I need to find some way to pay it forward. But right now I need to clean the damn floor.


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