S T E A M R O L L E R


All the running around seeks meaning
My neighbor exits his car as I exit mine
A black man with a french accent
He asks me how I am

“Good. I am good”, I answered. What else should I say?
“How are you?” I ask as I stop walking in the opposite direction to listen.

“Oh. It was an interesting one.  People seem to be shopping a lot these days. I was steamrolled and even though we all wore masks and gloves I had to drive out of my way to a man who wouldn’t leave his home,” he answered.

I was confused because I didn’t know what he did, and because steamrolled felt more negative than positive.

“That sounds maybe awful?” I replied with question.

“Oh no, it was good,” he said without looking at me.

“So steamrolled in a good way?” I asked but already disbelieving what he might say.

“Oh yes,” he said.

“May I ask what you do?” I inquired.

“I work for Audi,” he answered with a smile.

I smiled in return, as we simultaneously began walking in different directions.  I still didn’t understand what he in his tailored suit, half smile, deep accent, and tired expression did. Perhaps someday we’ll meet again and I’ll learn more, but more likely not

The remnants of a dark dream carried me through the day with an energy I’ve been silently mourning, feeling and fearing as if it might have been forever lost.  Today it felt as if I’d gained back the lost hope of unfocused time, and that none of the pain mattered as much as the potential I could birth to each moment.

I held it as long as possible, until exhaustion set in once more, and I was confronted with the question of whether I’d done enough, a seemingly hidden itch that battles against placing myself first.  I lose sometimes, but in the moment there is no disappointment, not when I know the effort gives to them what I never knew.  It’s worth it.  I convince myself of this, until tears place me face to face with being a liar. 

We give everything to what and who we love, not seeking recognition or thanks, not until everything we love becomes something or someone else, and we’ve nothing left to give.  It can be a slippery slope if you give unawares to what you must receive that will allow you to be what you give – without giving.

The french black man found positivity in his experience of self-professed steamrolling, but his demeanor and energy did not match his words.  He said they’d worn masks and gloves, and that still, it wasn’t enough for the one .  He reminded me that it’s the going out of our way too many times, that irons hope into wrinkles, and creates something old, unforgiving, and too accepting of another’s needs above one’s own. 

I don’t mind a steamrolling every now and again, because sacrifice is a requirement of living, but I’d prefer to give love and energy without the pressure of another’s arbitrary independence being placed above my own.