In which something is a bitch

4309I don’t believe in karma.  The universe doesn’t care about me (or you) one way or another, and there is no balancing force or supernatural intelligence out there looking to balance any sort of scales, especially with regard to my specific life.

That said, sometimes shit happens and makes you wonder.

Monday afternoon sometime I had a guest come into the store.  It became immediately apparent that the guest was Not Quite Right in some way or another; either impaired on some sort of substance or simply, for whatever reason, not in possession of a surfeit of social skills.  She had a problem of some sort; there’s no need to go into the details, but it was immediately clear to me– as in within a sentence or two– that I was not the person to solve her problem, but that the person who could solve her problem was in the store, and I could take her to that person in mere moments, if she would shut up about her interminably long, ridiculous, boring story long enough for me to get a word in edgewise.

You have probably had this conversation at some point, right?  Where the person takes forever to explain something to you, you provide the information they need in less than a sentence, and then they go “Yes, but” and repeat the entire story again?

It happened three times in a row until I simply walked away, assuming that either she would follow me or I would collect the person she actually needed to talk to and bring them to her.

At any rate, at about the halfway point during this conversation I noticed that this woman had her shirt on inside out.  And I went into one of those stupid mental calculation things, where my desire to be done and away from this conversation and my additional desire to not do or say things that cause embarrassment to other people went to war with, well, let’s call it “basic fucking human decency” and leave it at that.

Basic human decency did not win.  I did not point out the condition of her shirt to her, having no desire to poke the bear any further, and eventually got her into the custody of someone who could actually help her.

That 382-word short story exists as a preamble to this:  this morning I did the following:

  1. Took my dog to the vet;
  2. Took my son to breakfast at McDonalds, and ate inside the restaurant;
  3. Went to the post office;
  4. Went to the bank; and
  5. Went to Target;

and only at that point, halfway through my shopping trip at Target, did I notice that the shirt I’d thrown on that morning, a shirt that I’d pulled out of dirty laundry because I was planning on mowing the lawn after all the errands and there was no point to taking a shower (one of the advantages of being bald) or putting on clean clothes if I was just going to sweat them all up; only after all of that did I notice that I’d been out in public for two and a half hours and my shirt was– wait for it– inside out.

The end.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

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