Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Samaritan Apology

On Tuesday afternoon I stopped at the grocery store on my way home for lunch.  As I pulled into a parking spot a man walked up to my car window.  He was pretty scruffy looking, dirty clothes, bad teeth, and I thought "Oh boy here we go."  I was in my work uniform though, so I have to be as polite as possible to everyone, cause no one needs to be featured on the front page of the Toronto Sun...

Anyway, this guy walks right up to my car door to talk at me through the window...right away I'm annoyed!  I'm in the weaker position, trapped in my car and only able to look up at this's an annoying intimidation tactic and I don't like it.  I already know this guy wants something from me, and I'm just hoping it's only directions and not money and that he's polite.  It turns out it WAS just least initially...

"Hey bud, do you know of any gas station around here?"  The man asks me.  A simple request!  I breathe a sigh of relief.
"Yeah...just West of here right down there...a PetroCan"

"Oh yeah I tried that one...they don't have any portable containers."  Oh!  There's requirements...great.

"Oh. Well there's an Esso station at Victoria Park that might work.  They're just that way about a ten minute walk," I say.

"I've been there, too.  They couldn't help me."  At this point I've run out of gas stations in my immediate vicinity. 

"See, I'm from Sudbury," he says, "and I don't really know anything about the area around here.  There's nowhere else I could check?"  I'm starting to realize that what this guy's actual problem is is that he's run out of gas and he's stalled out his car somewhere.  I wonder why he didn't lead with this?  Suddenly I become very aware that I have a 5L portable container of gas in my trunk.  I rather selfishly don't want to give it to him though.  I have an alternate suggestion.  While I'm thinking about this the man has walked a bit away from my car, so I can finally get out.  I do this and then walk over to where he is standing.

"Hey there's a Canadian Tire right over there behind those apartment buildings," I say.  "If the gas stations don't have any containers for sale, they definitely will!"  I feel like I've just solved all of this guys problems, while not having to actually DO anything!!  Triumph!

"Oh, well I don't really want to BUY a container," he tells me, "I was hoping to just borrow one from somewhere."

Aw Crap.  This guy really IS from Sudbury if he thinks someone in Toronto is just going to let him borrow something.  He is not helping me solve this at ALL. 

So there I was, out of my car and wanting to go get my groceries and go home and have my lunch and carry on with my day.  However, I have this opportunity to help this guy from Sudbury.  As I mentioned, I have some gas in my trunk.  I could solve this guy's problem!  Walk with him to his car and give him enough gas to get to the nearest station at least.  For that matter, I could just give him the whole container and tell him to keep it!  Container and gas together are only worth 15-20 bucks, and I could just carry on with my day.

I don't take either of those options, though.  I just tell him, "Well, good luck.  Sorry, man," and walk into the grocery store. 

Why didn't I give this guy a hand? 

I know I resented the way he came up to me while I was still in my car originally and the way he put me on the spot.  I don't like being approached by strangers in the streets, especially in uniform when I know from both experience and anecdote that I have a target painted on my chest.  I also don't like to give hand-outs, in that if I tear down that wall for one person,'s a slippery slope.  Still, I wish I'd helped this guy out.  He's from out of town, he's got someone with him I think (he referred to himself as "we" a couple of times) and it really would have cost me little.  I could have made his day better and I didn't. 

I'm ashamed of that.  I wish I had done better.  Sorry parking lot guy.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

"Wait and See"

 So my friend says to me, after yet another failed relationship, that she's worried she may never find "the one".

The One.

"The One"


That same concern has been on my mind lately too.  Particularly with last weeks paradigm shifting realization that I'm debt free coupled with my subconscious brain clearly screaming at me that I ought to have kids before I'm too old.  OR at least A kid.  Maybe...

I don't really know.

And I don't really know if I believe in "The One" either...seems mostly like the one that this statement refers to is simply the first one that you knock up (or I guess who knocks you up, if you're a girl).

Not always, I guess!  I know 2, maybe 3 couples that really do seem like they were meant to be together.  You can look at them and just TELL that they belong together, even after they've been dating for years.  In a way, I think this is unfair to the rest of us, as I'm sure that not even close to half of everybody really ever finds that.  So the big question is, do you wait?  Or do you grab the next best thing?  If I can't be with the one I love, should I love the one that I'm with? 

I realized something a little while ago from watching yet another friend of mine who's in a relationship currently.  I learned that I expect too much from my girlfriends.  I want a girl to sort of be all things to me...friend, lover, drinking buddy and psychiatrist all rolled together (just to name a FEW requirements).  It's unreasonable and unfair to some poor girl who involves herself with me...I gotta watch out for that...

Anyway I'm just rambling at this point, waiting for the laundry to be done!  I guess all you really can take from this post is that, having crossed the biggest "to do" off my life list last week, I'm examining the next largest deficiency in my life and looking at options.  I want to sound cynical but at the same time I want to be an idealist.  I guess the answer is the same in real life as it is in a John Irving novel..."wait and see."

Everything happens...all we need is just a little patience...

Oh Axl...

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Best Things in Life Are Free?

 I've never been great at math...I mean, I'm not terrible but sometimes I make mistakes.  I'm not super confident in my answers and always have to double check.

Having said that, I made an addition error this year while I was trying to calculate how much to pay each month against the debt that I owe!  Long-time readers will know that I've been struggling all year (and for YEARS before that!) to pay off my debt by December 15th, 2012.

Well, I failed at that.  Due to my erroneous math, I actually JUST PAID OFF MY DEBT A MONTH EARLY!!!!


Yeah, that's right...math error IN MY FAVOUR!!!  

I'm debt free!!!

I can't actually believe that.

I got my first credit card in 1996.  I was 19 years old, and it was a Zellers Club "Z" CIBC card.

By 1997 I owed more money than I had.

15 long years.

I've got this spot in between my shoulder blades, around where my neck starts, that's constantly in pain.  It's like there's always a large, blunt object trying to dig into the bone there.  A railroad spike, perhaps.

Then I found out about this today!  I have to hurts a little less!

15 years...seriously.  Today I finished paying for pizza and beer from 2002.  I finished paying for that Playstation game I bought in 2004.  The transmission I rebuilt in the car I sold a year later in 1999.  Countless gifts for girls I haven't even spoken to in years.

15 long years I've been paying for the decisions...the mistakes...I made in my early 20's.  

Now I'm done!  It's over!

This is going to take a while to sink in....

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Doll House

I was lying on my back on the living room floor, exercising, when in-between sets I was suddenly...transported.  My mind's eye opened and the floor show if my life were flashing before my eyes, but in the wrong direction...presenting me with the future instead of the past...

You were there in the future.  Platonic no more, our relationship had, surprisingly, moved to another level.  As a matter of fact, you were the future I saw...

I watched as we decided it would be nice to move in together.

I was the proverbial fly on the wall when you told me we were going to have a baby.

I saw us house-hunting, you showing a pronounced baby bump and looking  more beautiful than I'd ever seen you.

I finally saw our child...a daughter with strawberry-blond hair.  Yeah, I don't know where that colour came from, either. 

The last thing I saw was the three of us, in our now not-so-new place, just getting ready for dinner.  Just another little family.  Little girl seemed like a happy toddler.  You and I seemed happy, too.  It was nice.

When I came back to myself it took me a moment to remember where I was, what I was doing and why I was lying on my back on the living room floor.  After the cobwebs cleared and I realized what was what, I felt a little sad...I wrote you a note:

"I sometimes wonder if you're not secretly attracted to me but too chicken to actually do anything about it because right out of the gate it would be too large of a commitment.  It's just TOO much.  If that's true I wish you'd admit it so that we could just start already."

Re-reading what I wrote then, I wonder if it isn't more appropriately meant for me?  It certainly does apply...

So what does it mean?  Vision of the future?  Glimpse into an alternate reality?  Or just the product of an overactive imagination? 

I don't know, but I do know one thing.  It was a good dream.  I'd love to end up as happy as we appeared to be. 

And on the off chance that it was real?  I'll...uh...try to act surprised!

Friday, 2 November 2012


 So today as an experiment I want to try and dictate Stryder's Dementia on my iPhone.  I find that if I do just a bit at a time and add the punctuation it's pretty easy.  I don't know if it will ever replace typing but it's kind of cool.

So I got this iPhone a couple weeks ago and I guess the novelty still hasn't really worn off.  It sort of shocks me how frequently I want to look at it, not even counting that it reminds me to check it several times a day.  I'm a little worried that I may be becoming a worse person because of it.  Some sort of strange human/technology hybrid, less aware of my surroundings and more focused on my private world.  Despite that, I like it!  Madness...

 Isn't it strange that communication technology we have also isolates us?  Irony.  I really wonder where the world will go in another 10 years with this sort of thing.  I guess only time will tell. 

While we're waiting for the societal implications, I have just GOT to go play more "The Simpsons Tapped Out." Uh...have a good week!

PS:  I'm not even joking about the addictive Simpsons game!  Add me!  I'm StryderWolfe, naturally.

Sent from my iPhone...edited on my computer.  I tried to publish everything from the phone, but Blogger didn't support the browser for adding a new post!  Guess I have need of my computer still...Maybe with an iPhone 5...