Some days are just meant to be a bit off. And some days are just meant to be days in which you have to be vigilant. Ominous sounding? Well, nothing bad happened but it is a weird night indeed when you are glad you brought a taser along with you.
If this were a television script a note would be inserted here that a scroll should come up stating “24 hours earlier”. So, let me rewind a bit.
It’s been a long week of non-stop meetings and appointments. It’s been an emotionally trying week as well. Lots of heartbreaking items this week. Twenty four hours earlier I was at an outside cafe here in Los Angeles, where a homeless man in a wheelchair came around asking for money and food. I was heartbroken that people end up living this way. So many people have to beg and often their dignity is challenged by the environment. I gave him a dollar. Its really not much at all in the grand scheme of things. When my colleagues arrived for our meeting, he proceeded to beg them as well. One of them agreed to buy him some food. The guy kept getting a bit aggresive. I want to be understanding and show compassion but after a while it does become a bit hard to carry on our work meeting. But we stayed on. Eventually a Los Angeles safety officer came by and asked him to move on. Our meeting continued unabated. But the interactions stayed in my head. It is so hard for so many people. And one also has to be vigilant. Its a bevy of emotions and considerations.
The next day, I had a lunch meeting that started off as quite fun and jovial and near the end, it was quite heartbreaking. My colleague ended up crying. We shared stories of loss and of having broken hearts but somehow continuing on. Right after that I had a bar meeting with some other colleagues. We shared stories of crazy workplace antics we have experienced the past decade or so and pondered the future. All of our futures. As we pondered what would be our next steps, the television right over our booth showed a breaking news alert. Apparently, there were some people who had died at an Ariana Grande concert. We thought it strange. Then, the news alerted us all to that it was a bombing. Terrorism? We sighed and wondered who would bomb such a venue where kids were bound to be. There was no veering away from a broken heart that day.
Eventually, we finished our peach margaritas and all went our separate ways home. I got home and recounted my day and watched the news. I needed to go work out. First off, I needed to burn off those margaritas. Second, I just needed to get my energy out. As I prepared to go to the gym, I had an odd feeling swell up within me. I decided to take my taser with me to the gym. It was late at night and it doesn’t hurt anyone for me to have it in my bag. I grabbed my bag and went to work out.
The second I went into the gym I heard a weird noise. As I walked towards my usual machine, I saw where the noise was coming from. There was a man there just talking to himself as he lifted weights. It was hard to understand what he was saying but I figured maybe he was pumping himself up. Encouraging himself. I caught his eye and he looked really, really angry. I kept going to my machine. Then he started screaming and doing a continous babble stream. He was agitated. Extremely so. He would drop the weights onto the floor. He paced from one end of the gym to the other, all the while screaming. I looked at the other two people in the gym. They didn’t seem worried. Maybe they were pretending so as to not agitate him further. I put my headphones on and listened to my music while I watched the breaking news coverage on the machine’s tv. I looked at my bag with comfort. There was no way I wanted to use my taser but I found it oddly reassuring that somehow I had felt compelled to bring it. It was as if I was finally one with the universe and was reading it’s signals correctly. I exercised and went back home wondering what was to come next. It surely had been an odd few days.