Monday, October 22, 2007

And they told the demon, "Be gone!"

This I overheard from a man in one of those phone booths in an Internet cafe. I stopped and tried to listen further, but it was a muddled monologue of 'they told me this and we have to do that'. The man looked wretched and was ever-polite. I felt wretched and was prepared to be rude to the children kicking the partition separating our computers. I didn't - I felt to weak. Flu is my demon. Further demons sit on my left shoulder. The Programme Assistant at work is a bureaucrat/a paper-pusher/a jobsworth and she drives me to long fruitless distraction with her busy-body, petty officialdom and love of hierarchies. The truth is I could crush her - personally that is. I hesitate to do so not only because I fear for my job but because I know she is not wicked just mediocre. I on the other hand am capable of a polished and ruthless verbal meanness and to exert my greater powers of intellect upon the poor whining creature would be a form of bullying. And it is silly to give in to the demon of contempt; the girl needs occasional flattery and what will that really cost a good Christian like myself? My mother recounted her parable: In Lourdes as a young volunteer, she was assigned to work in one of the bathhouses by an officious and rude older woman who riled everyone with her uncharitable manner. My mother decided that the only course of action was to flatter the woman until she calmed down, remembering why they were there - to help the terminally and gravely ill pilgrims take a dignified bath at this site of the Virgin's apparition. My mother is wise first and a Catholic second I think.

Raouf by virtue of you judging me, I know not to judge others.

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