Helping 2/8/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

This has been an odd day. We were buried in snow yesterday, and today it continued off and on throughout the day. We’ve been in single digit temperatures making it the perfect weather to stay home where it’s safe. It’s also the kind of day that I cannot.

No, it’s not because I have one of those critical but typically thankless jobs like plowing the streets. Rather, it’s the turn of my luck. When I most want to stay in, I know I’ll have to go out. Today my friend asked me to help him pick up a piece of furniture for his daughter. His car is much like my hybrid; very reliable, but too small for large jobs. He tells me it’s an inch too small in the hatchback, and in the back seat, and he needed a truck. On a day that my instinct for survival tells me to stay in, I went out.

I was happy to help, and even happier that he reached out to me. It’s important to me that my friends know they can turn to me in times of need, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. Many of my friends know if they want me to show up for a social event, the best way to ensure my presence is to ask me to bring something. If I feel like I’m needed, like I can pitch in and help, I will.

Honestly, the roads weren’t bad. They were very slippery in some very dangerous spots, but I have the experience and patience to drive very slowly, carefully, and anticipate the time and space I need to stop and start, and it was fun having a chance to chat with him and catch up again. But that’s not all.

With one friend of mine already going through a divorce, another friend reached out for an ear today as she is having trouble with her relationship as well. I’m hoping it’s just one of those typical but insufferable relationship lulls that are so common, but I honestly don’t know. I love this woman so very deeply, although I don’t think of her romantically. She’s very attractive, but I know we’re also different enough that it probably just wouldn’t work. None the less, she reached out to me today, something she doesn’t do very often, told me she was struggling and then cut me off, so I honestly don’t know what is happening. I made sure she had my phone number in case she needs it and reminded her that I can take a call at any time since I live alone. Maybe she didn’t need an ear so much as just needing to know that she had somebody she could turn to if she wants to.

We’re struggling. When I feel like my friends can, and will, turn to me, I guess it makes me just feel complete, like maybe I have a purpose. I bought a Keurig coffee maker for another friend this weekend and have been talking with my Ren Fair friends about helping them out, financially in part but I’m also developing a character for an educational booth on alchemy. If I feel like I’m needed, I feel complete. I have no spouse, no children, not even a significant either. I am alone, and so I give what I can. My legacy will not be a child I fathered and raised, but the lessons and love I have given. It’s a poor substitute of a miserable and lonely life, but it’s the best I can do at this point.

Watch out for each other. It breaks my heart that I have so many friends on shaky relationship grounds so close to Valentine’s day, but I want to be here for them. I love that I am in a financially stable enough place that I can even give financially, maybe not a lot but at least a little bit as I hope to sponsor a couple of acts for the Ren fair this year. Sadly, my strength is failing me, although I have started lifting weights to combat this effect. Once I could have pushed a station wagon up an incline alone; these days I probably wouldn’t be able to keep a Hyundai from running me down. It’s the way of the world, but my ear is still strong, and my heart is unstoppable. For my friends, I will give as long as I breathe, because it is they who hold my heart.

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