The Grey Tail

You are doing it wrong.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving. – W.T. Purkiser

There are a great many good and bad things that happen throughout the big game of Life, sometimes we bring the good or the bad to ourselves, sometimes it’s a simple matter of chance. A mere 0.something percentage, and you fall right into that tiny slot.

I’m watching our life-long neighbour, Esther, slowly fading because of a terrible neurological disease that is consuming her nerves and brain – and my heart breaks every time I see her being lifted by paramedics or her relatives, carried into an ambulance or a car headed to the hospital for therapies that will do only so much because it’s a degenerative disease that just won’t quit working against your system.

She’s the one that showed me what snapdragons do when I was a kid, her garden always arranged with flowers in neat borders and patches. She would spot me playing outside and call me, I would toddle across the street and into her garden and spend time with her and her husband. They gave me one of their sons’ harmonica and taught me to discard darkened rice grains while you wait for the water to boil «because they don’t look nice when you serve them on a Sunday».

Helplessness settles in, my jaw tightens, and I feel I’ve already started to grind like I always do when I get frustrated.

Then there’s Mary. This talented, kind, witty, courageous and brilliant human being and stitcher that knows how to accomplish a million and one types of gorgeous needlework, and most importantly takes the time and care to teach them (very successfully I might add), and so gracefully manages to address people when they piss her off. Well, only hours ago Mary shared with us the news of not one but two serious illnesses that are taking her «on an adventure».

And Diane, of which I could write again the same wonderful things, and so many other truly amazing people that are dealing with «adventures» with grace and attitude, keeping their heads high and their spirits higher, knowing that life is a journey not a destination, and how you travel matters way more than where you got so far and what you have to show for it.

I think of them and feel I’m hopelessly grinding, I’ve given even a tiny bite to the right side of my mouth and I’m trying not to chew on it.

So when early this morning I read that gem our resident troll Velma/Shelly left us here, my first thought* was: “Seriously, woman? With all that you surely have going on with your life, good and bad, seriously? You have the time and energy to be such an ass at your age? You still find it amusing? And what – productive? Do you really find pleasure in leaving a small piece of your poop outside my door for me to virtually step on as I walk out? And for what actual reason? What good (real good, capital G Good) does it bring to you? And how would you feel if everyone disagreeing with you started doing the same on your doorstep?“.

*ok, that’s my second thought, the first being a small series of variations on the theme “what the fuck et al.”

I know, I know, I shouldn’t waste my time and energy with these people, I shouldn’t waste yours either to be honest. And yet, don’t we all come across our own Vandas/Shelleys at some point in our lives? People that we just don’t understand. Because I’m positively sure this woman knows how to be a good person, she does; everyone does. With me (and for all I know, for no good reason) she just decides to act like an obnoxious high school asshole that never faced a single problem in his life because mom and dad always made excuses for him, but we all know the big game of Life will teach that guy one lesson or two at some point. In Vanda/Shelly’s case it might take a while, considering she left high school some time ago, but it will.

Time and Life are great teachers, too bad they end up killing all their students. – Robin Williams

So with all the beautiful, the boring, the easy, the hard, the tear bringing joys and sadnesses that Life and Time can bring in mind, I want to tell you something, Vanda/Shelly. You and your little cow pats may be annoying at first, they might piss me off for nothing more than a minute, but then I completely forget all about you. You will never be in my thoughts like extraordinary women and men are, you will never have the pleasure of having me as a friend (and from what I hear I can be a bloody good friend to people). You will never hear from me again, you can leave all you want on my doorstep: I’ll always publish it as I am not a fan of censorship, but I won’t reply or address it in any form ever again. Goodbye, Vanda/Shelly. May you learn how to prioritise in life the easy way.

And one last thing: Thanksgiving. You’re doing it wrong.

– – –

Have a nice day, everyone.

Lots of love,



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