Q. Do you know who I am?
A. Yeah. You’re a pain in the ass who darkens my door once a week, annoying me with an incessant series of inane questions, challenging my patience.
Q. So why have you summoned me?
A. What choice did I have?
Q. Aren’t I supposed to be asking you the questions?
A. Supposed to schummosed to. I’m totally disgruntled.
Q. Whatever for?
A. I don’t know. The whole thing just seems to be — on me.
Q. What whole thing?
A. Forgiveness! Why am I the guy who always has to focus all his energy on forgiving all these other people? If even one of them would so much as give me the time of day, it would sure make it a lot easier.
Q. Easier on who?
A. On me — obviously!
Q. Why don’t you make it easy on them?
A. Don’t insult my integrity. I’m already trying to do that, and you know that.
A. By apologizing to them. By asking their forgiveness. Like the Bible says. Like Jesus says. Like we’re all supposed to do with each other. But they still won’t —
Q. Give you the time of day?
A. Right. How do I know they’re even reading my emails? Or listening to my voice mail messages? Or even reading my carefully, prayerfully worded snail mail letters? I wouldn’t be surprised if whats-his-face just ripped up the letter I sent to his home address, without even bothering to open it.
Q. But why would he do that?
A. I don’t know. Fear of its contents, I guess. Or disrespect for me as a man. Hard to say. Maybe his wife doesn’t want him to have anything to do with me. Maybe his doctor told him to avoid “toxic people,” and he decided I was “toxic.” Or maybe he’s just a cowardly wimp who can’t face up to his own bullshit unless he’s painted into a damn corner.
Q. Do you really need this guy?
A. No, not really.
Q. Then what do you need?
A. I need to forgive him. To be free and clear of all the lingering resentment over the way I was treated — and the way I treated him. To know that he has received my apologies, my requests for forgiveness, and that they matter enough to him — that Jesus matters enough for him — to say “I forgive you, Andy.” And then we can both move on. Or even be friends again, who knows? God only knows.
Q. How long has this been going on?
A. Five years now.
Q. He hasn’t talked to you for five years?
A. Not just him – but all kinds of people.
Q. Why did they all stop talking to you?
A. Probably because of the way I was coming across at the time.
Q. How were you coming across?
A. I was desperate. I was homeless. Sure I had all kinds of other problems, but I couldn’t solve any of them from homelessness. And none of those damned group situations that were always recommended ever worked out for me. They only surrounded me with thieves and criminals, and furthered the violation of my person and my property. I was down in this hole that was so deep, I couldn’t climb out of it myself for the life of me. I kept beseeching them, please, let me stay with you, just for a while, just for a month or so, till I can get my bearings, get some sleep, and see a way to maybe get back on my feet. But nobody would budge. They all rejected me. Most of them without even a word of notice or warning. They flushed me down the toilet like I was a total piece of — piece of — piece of —
A. You said it.
Q. Why did you internalize their opinions of you?
A. I couldn’t help it. I knew I was coming across in a way that freaked them out, or pissed them off even. But all the gross details of homelessness, the sleep deprivation, the constant insinuation from everyone around me that I was this worthless piece of crap, that my music didn’t matter, my singing, my piano playing, my writing, my public speaking, none of the good things about me counted! I was just supposed to cram a bunch of damned pills down my throat that I knew would destroy everything I had going for me, and get into some group home where they monitored all my meds and only let me out under supervision on Sundays.
And I had already tried all that. And I just couldn’t do it! I’d have rather slept alone out in a field somewhere. So I did. But then — all the other crap set in.
Q. What other crap?
A. You know something? I really don’t want to talk about it.
Q. Then why are you?
A. Because of you. And all your damned questions. Go away! And don’t come back till Tuesday! Tired of your robotic, unfeeling crap.
The Questioner is silent.
Please donate to Eden in Babylon.
Anything Helps – God Bless!