In a morality play, I’d call him Frank Forthright. Why? Because on his fourth (or was it fifth) affirmation of his frankness and forthrightness, I decided to stop responding and let him consider me in as negative a light as he chose. My crime? He expected a confirmation of our presence last night. I thought the matter was settled already. Besides my phone is on the blink. Not good enough. I should have hunted down a phone, Frank said. He was really upset over my lack of regard for others, and being a frank and forthright person, it was his duty to tell me so. After four (or five?) apologies, and further examples of how my disregard had upset him and everyone he knows, I settled for his frank and forthright contempt because there’s only so much you can do in attempting to get through that much self-righteousness.
Henceforth, I am persona non grata with Mr Forthright. Ma foi, I’ll live with the disgrace.
Collectives. Meetings. Agenda items. Honest attempts at letting each person have his or her say. Moving toward consensus. Hearing the unspoken. The unspoken “yes, but…” or whatever mental restriction applies. As the clock ticks, giving a silent cheer for mental restriction if it means the group can move on to getting a job done. I’ve agreed to more meetings with the understanding I’m handing over as much information as I can so others can handle visits to the préfecture, or contacts with social workers, doctors, lawyers etc. The piles of paperwork keep growing on my desk. Should I fall sick, who will know what to do with the documents in need of filing, or chasing down, or renewing, etc.
Stepping back, if only by an inch. Someone didn’t make it to the meeting last night because she collapsed into deep sleep. Familiar. The body going on strike because the brain’s frontal lobes don’t get it about the infantry sleeping on its feet.
The country’s under a wide-angle shower head. Rain. More rain. Resisting the contagion of discontent gobbles up a lot of energy. To this end, I’ve added a useful artifact to the Infant Jesus of Prague’s royal attributes :