There comes eventually a time in everyone’s life when thresholds are truly tested.
We can never be 100% certain of when that moment will come, but when it does come? Hooooo boy!!
The last couple of years, I’ve been pretty good about it. I don’t run my mouth every time I come across something I don’t agree with, and I do bite my tongue often. Smile, and nod.
As a silent observer I’ve become highly “opinionated” on specific subject matter and a wee bit brash regarding some topics, and I’ve pushed the envelope to the razor’s edge on more than one occasion, but never over the top. Nothing which has got me into trouble.
I know when to back off for the most part.
I have an innate ability to “push buttons” and watch folks spiral out of control once those buttons are pushed. Some people like having their buttons pushed, while others can’t handle it, at all. One of my friends once told me not too long ago, “The thing I like about our conversations, is that you challenge my beliefs.”
“Firstly, I’m not out to challenge anyone’s anything, but if you find comfort in that I’m glad to be of service.” 🙂
My philosophy is simple. Don’t ask me, and I won’t speak on it.
You do you, and I’ll do me.
Today, I found a threshold.
Now, at the time of writing this, it’s 11:00 PM on a Tuesday. Ordinarily I don’t drink caffeine at this time of night unless I have company visiting and we’re playing a healthy game of Risk in my recreation room, but, the coffee is strong now, and I’m all fired up.
To maintain anonymity and privacy, I will not disclose the name of the individual, or their relationship to me. All readers need to know is that the individual is blood. For the sake of this post, I’ll refer to the “individual” as Individual.
I get a call that Individual is at the emergency room.
I fly out of bed, redress, and dash out the door as fast as my legs can carry me.
Another blood relative beat me there by 30 seconds. I’m rushing up the walkway to the doors.
I’m told I have to wait, as a visitor was just allowed in the back area, and someone would return soon to assist me.
The “receptionist” returns after a couple of minutes.
Now, it’s time for me to make my presence known. “I got the call that Individual has been admitted.”
“Yes, I believe your relative was just ahead of you.”
“Great. Yeah, What room is Individual in?”
“We only allow one visitor in 24 hours. What’s your name?”
“I am become death. The destroyer of worlds.”
555-you better let me in.
“We’ll contact you, once you’re approved to receive patient information and updates.” She stated outright. Nonchalant. Robotic. A lack of apathy and empathy which boiled my blood.
My face ached with anger and my temples throbbed. My cheeks transformed deep crimson and I could feel my heartbeat in my earlobes. I replied the only way I was able. “Are you trying to tell me I’m not allowed to visit Individual?”
“I’m sorry. Yes.”
Something you must understand. It takes a lot to get me to that place where I venture beyond the razor’s edge. Where I say things I would never say, ever, given any other situation. I like to remain cool and mostly collected when possible. I never respond through emotion if I can help it.
Tonight, Liberty Bell came out and needed to speak on my behalf. She always knows just what to say.
I stuffed both hands in my pockets to prevent myself from doing anything which would land me in cuffs. I looked her dead in the eyes and said, “Wow, you guys are amazing. Very impressive. You know what you can do? You can eat shit.” I turned around slowly, and approached the exit.
She barked, “You’ll be contacted when it’s time.” An obvious weak attempt at deescalating me. Nobody sitting behind that glass partition gave a crap.
And I knew that. All she wanted was the last word.
“Go fu%& yourself.” Was all I could muster, looking back at them over my shoulder.
I wanted to say more, but I knew if I stayed any longer, I would have made a larger scene.
Pacing the parking lot I made my phone calls, and got real time updates from the source (knowing I wouldn’t get anything from the staff any time soon). Once I discovered Individual was going to be OK I entered the car, and whipped out of the driveway. On the way home I thought to myself, “I wonder how many times a day the staff hear “normal” people responding in such a foul manner? Am I the only one who acts unruly? Do they have those encounters often? I hope to God they never have to be told they can’t visit a loved one in the emergency room.”
Full disclosure, I knew about the visitation “policies” loooong before I pulled into the parking lot. I knew what they were going to say to me, before they even said it. I understand the new ways of the new world and I knew they were not going to allow me in to visit, if someone already beat me to it. Regardless, I had to make the attempt and respond accordingly.
But, I gotta tell ya it felt pretty damn good to finally express to them how I truly felt about it.
Childish? Sure. Petty? Perhaps. Unnecessary? Maybe. My actions and reactions frowned upon by some? Probably. Do I care?……..
…………. Not really.
Don’t put “normal,” everyday people into those extreme predicaments and positions, and you won’t have to worry about negative and foul experiences with someone like me who allows his sci-fi main character to speak on his behalf. It’s pretty easy.
But, but, but….
I hope your thresholds are never pushed. I hope you are never placed into that situation. If you’ve already faced it, I sympathize. It’s unsettling.
I could have chosen a different method of communication with them. I could have attempted to sway them with a more diplomatic approach, tossing in some snippets of logic and try my hand at tilting their thinking to my side…but… I knew it would be a futile endeavor.
So, Liberty said what she had to say, and I’m back home now, deescalated, sitting in the chair, thinking sleep will be illusive.
On the positive side, my editor has the “Companion” novella sequel in her possession. It’s a short story I’m adding to the collection. A quicky two hour or less read. Tales, Poems and Short Stories from the Exterior Vol II. I had a lot of fun writing it. Telling the back story to an integral character who helped shape the Exterior into what it is. Unsure if it’ll be before year’s end I can get it released, or early next year, but either way, the short story “expanded universe” installments keep me busy as there are no shortages of tales to tell.
I’ve started the third in the series, and have plans to rework a portion of the Surrender Game sequel before sending that one away.
Busy, busy, busy.
On that note, it’s time to wrap things up. Work comes early in the morning. I hope all is well is everyone’s realm. A huge welcome and thank you to the new subscribers for joining me on this madness adventure. I appreciate you muchly.
That’s all in the tank for tonight.
The five star rated science fiction novel, The Surrender Game, Vol I of the Guardian War Chronicles, is available for purchase on Kindle for only $3.99. Free, with Kindle Unlimited. Please like, share and subscribe below in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to like my Facebook page to receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles and sequels to come. The Surrender Game cinematic trailer can be found here.