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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I don't do turmoil well. In times of emotional upheaval, I often pretend to be deaf, blind and stupid. It's easy. I sometimes think the world would be a more placid planet if more people tried it.

Okay, it's not easy. But I have my ways of pacifying the Boss when he's in one of his states. He's ten years older than I am and independently wealthy. His family made a fortune in pottery, and he lives off the interest from his father's trust. He doesn't need the aggravation of being the president of a construction company. Or does he?

I think he thrives on aggravation. It's mother's milk to him. Life's blood. It occurred to me today that he's kept me around for more than seventeen years because I don't respond emotionally when he has his moods. I listen calmly and I speak calmly. I try to find a logical approach to whatever monster he's found under his bed. Sometimes I even make him laugh.

And then, when I get off the phone, I slam things around and roar in frustration. But it's not turmoil, because I'm the only person involved. It's a reaction and a release, but it doesn't do anything to make things worse. Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. It stays in-house, and (as I think I've mentioned) I live alone.

So today was a rough day for the Boss. That made it a rough day for me, but he'll never know. All he knows is that I answered his questions, walked him through what he didn't understand, and left him feeling a little lighter than he was before. If I can shift some of the burden onto my shoulders, it's worth it to keep it all from crashing down around us. I can handle that much easier than I can stand to be in the middle of the storm with nothing to hold onto.

18 October 2003

Another view of a sunset you've seen here before.

Obviously, I'm not emotionally blind or deaf, and I'm not stupid. I just play it that way when it seems to be the right approach. It's a whole lot easier to do that, though, when you do live alone and work alone, and you don't have to rub up against other people's raw feelings all day long.

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When it won the Oscar, I'd never heard of Nowhere in Africa. Then other people I knew saw it and liked it, but I never got around to it. Finally it's out on DVD and tonight I watched it, and I have to agree. It's a great movie that breathes life into a family of German Jews who escape the Nazis and live in Kenya during the war. Within the episodic story of adaptation and acceptance is a portrait of how optimism can overwhelm hopelessness, and how friendship can bridge differences.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Moving On
"The end of the month is 28 days closer now than it was when the month started, and I'm not proud of wasting four weeks."

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