This afternoon I suffered a brief epiphany. Now yes I know, there is no such thing as a unique ‘brief’ epiphany. All epiphanies are brief. (“an experience of sudden and striking realization”) By definition. But I suffered one, brief though it was, now it is mine. I aim to keep it and make it not brief.
My ‘sudden and striking realization’ struck me at Kroger’s, standing in the check-out line and in my usual hurry. There was a man in front of me in one of those grocery-store golf carts. He kept bumping into shit, trying to navigate. He was cheerful. The cashier was cheerful. They both laughed at his lack of driving skills. Then… I had to laugh too. With them. Then it hit me. The cashier lady was black. The bumpy lousy grocery cart driver was white. In Memphis, this is how we roll: people are Kind to one another, regardless.
In Memphis Tennessee. My adopted ex-pat State, right there on the spot, I fell in love. Yes! Love! (took me far too long)
Ask me why? Why today? Why after so many times in which I have railed against the slowness of the shopping cart? The slowness of the cashier. The slowness of the people to gas their cars when the light turns green and I am in a hurry (hurry for what?) The casual way life is approached?
I cannot answer, but it hit me today.
It hit me! Suddenly!
I used to be that way.
That way. That bad way.
And I was happy, being mean.
Then I got in a ‘hurry’ and I was even less happy.
Never took the time to talk to folks. Never said ‘Hello’ Never helped someone needing help. In Memphis, people still help people; they have a conversation in the check-out line. Those waiting to check out, check their egos in their cars. Life is sublime. People are Nice! Nice! Civil! Nice Civil People! Can you imagine?
I need this.
I needed this!
I have it now.
I had an epiphany.
I have an epiphany.
And I am gonna keep it.
And I am gonna take it home (To Texas) when I get there. ‘ Lesson I learned in Tennessee.’ Shoulda learned it in Texas. Texans have always had it. Understood it. Embraced it. With both arms open…
I Will Always Love My Country