Friday, June 22, 2018

"An Unearned Feeling Of Privilege... Suddenly Revoked"

I believe it was on an episode of I Love Lucy.  Though it could easily have been somewhere else.  Two famous comedians, I think, Bob Hope and Milton Berle, though it may well have been two other famous comedians… are you getting the feeling I am somewhat deficient in the particulars?   

Non-fiction narrative. At its reliable worst.

And still, I move forward. 

Because I’m in too deep to turn back.  And because the selected point lies beyond the specifics.  Suggesting the “exalted facts” are not as huffily important as they think they are.  (You know, it could have been The Andy Griffith Show.  And one of the comedians could have been Danny Thomas.)

Whoever they were on whatever series they were on,the beloved funnymen, vacationing in some remote American backwater revel relievedly in their freedom from burdening adulation.  No one recognizing them on the street.  No embarrassing  “singling out.”  They’re just, liberatingly anonymous, regular people. 

Then, gradually, they begin missing their celebrity status.

And by the end, they are genuinely upset.  (In a comedic fashion, of course.)

That’s the phenomenon in question, right there.  An undue accordance of attention… with feelings of loss when it’s removed.

Well, sir and madam,

That’s exactly how I feel, during my “Thursday Walk”, entering the once personally elevating Groundwork Coffee Inc

I thought I was finished with that issue.  I’m an adult, after all.  So I received unique attention for a while and now I don’t. It was fun while it lasted.  “Moving on.”

Apparently, judged by the residual churned-up emotions,

I can’t.

I continue to gothere every week – it’s my habitual “Thursday Walk” destination –   

But it is definitely not the same.

I do not mean it’s not the same because I no longer get immediately bumped up in line upon my arrival, or receive generous discounts on my “Venice Blend” pour-over”, or am handed complimentary samples of “Venice Blend” beans to take home.  That’s coffee under the bridge.  What I am talking about is the detectable “cool breeze” I now experience, opening the emporium’s decorative screen door and stepping tentatively inside.

Being in total control of my neck, I keep it from swiveling to my left, where the Picard-headed store manager, who once leapt into action the moment he saw me, tends attentively to his customers, as if no one “of note” had recently arrived.  

I cannot tell if he’s deliberately ignoring me or he’s just busy.  (Both behaviors look, superficially, the same.)  I just know that once he dropped everything for me.  And now he doesn’t.

And though it’s stupid, I can’t help wondering,

“What did I do-hoo-hoo?

The employees seem in on the “transition”, taking one side or the other, some, with frosty demeanors, going, “How do you feel now, Big Shot?”, others signaling, “It’s not you, Earlo. He’s crazy.”

It’s like I don’t even want to go inthere anymore.  There’s this hovering sense that this boomeranging phenomenon was somehow my fault – a disgraced “Lottery Winner”, caught monkeying with the numbers.  Should I have rejected the selective treatment from the outset?  I told him “I’m just an ordinary person”, to which he replied, “We all are.”  But that was the end of it.  I kept taking the “goodies.”

Should I have been more forceful in my objections?  Should I have resisted more adamantly?  I mean, it’s not “hubris” if you didn’t ask for it, is it?  (Even if, inside, your “kingly impulses” are scarily unleashed?)

I suppose I could straightforwardly ask, “Why did it start and why did it stop?”  But what if he proclaims ignorance to this rollercoaster behavior?

“Why sir, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

(He asserts, in a suddenly English affront to his dignity.)

I do not know the answer.

I just know, when I step into Groundwork– with neither me nor my temporary benefactor at fault – it’s like I am no longer welcome.

And I fear I will never feel welcome again. 
Here's a new thing that just happened I didn't know about and then someone explained it to.  

Your comments used to appear in my emails.  Now they don't.  They only appear after the post itself.  Therefore, I may not notice them, because I rarely, if ever, read my blog' already published posts.

I may now have to start.  

But you're dealing with a person who checks his phone messages every two weeks.

When I remember.

Oh, well.

Time matzah on.  

An adjustment may be required.  

For a person for whom "change" is just another name for "Why?"

Just thought you should know.

No comments: