A Tale of Two Stories: & How I Almost Went To Jail
I called him and asked him to meet me at our spot. For months I had been dreading this conversation. The deep, dark, down twisty maybe it would be easier if I was dead kinda talk. Not really dead. But if I died on accident and didn’t have to go through telling him the shit I was in then at least we could chalk up missing this talk as a silver lining to all my deadness.
I gathered up all of my bills and receipts that I had been hiding under my bed for a few months pretending they didn’t exist and put them in a shoe box and drove to our spot.
I got there early - but he was already there. Always early. Because if you were on time you were 5 minutes late. And he was always 10 minutes early which put him a quarter til arrival for all of his life.
I sat down. I couldn’t look him in the eye and gently pushed the shoe box over to him and started to sob
“I scrrrreeewww--eeeddd, uh uhpp…. Dad. I’m so sorry. I just don’t know what to do. I got this credit card and maxed it out ($500 dollars) and moved and didn’t forward my address and thought that since they didn’t send me a bill I didn’t have to pay it and then when they found me they had billed me crazy interest fees and late fees and over limit fees and i’m gonna be a parolee fees and now it is TWELVE HUNDRED DOLLARS and they served me papers and said they are going to take me to court and then I’M GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO JAIL.”
I sat there. Wanting to die. Thinking the one person in the world I never wanted to disappoint was going to disown me. He didn’t. In fact. He was gentle. And kind. And said we would fix it and figure it out together and took the box, gave me hug and then went and got us a burger.
I wasn’t dead. And I wasn’t disowned. And my Dad took this way better than I had ever imagined.
FAST FORWARD TWENTY YEARS LATER ...my Dad shared with me his side of the story.
I called and asked him to meet and he knew there was trouble. All he and my Mom could think was the life they had helped me save for, plan for, get healthy for was not going to exist anymore. They worried and talked and built out the action plans on all of the what if’s until it came time to meet.
When I sat down and pushed the box toward my dad and when he discovered our talk was about bills and not babies he almost fell on the floor with relief. This he could fix relatively easily with a check and a stern don’t do it again.
Had it been a talk about babies there would have been a lot more checks and more talks and tears and a much different and more difficult road to travel. They knew. They were young and had been there before.
So, the moral of the story within the story of a story. All of the pain came from the story, the leading up to telling the story, the story of what was going to happen when the story was told. But NONE of the pain was from the actual truth.
So, My Loves, be careful of the self crimes you commit from the stories you tell. Sometimes they simply are not true.
And sometimes (mostly all of the sometimes) the story you tell around the telling of the truth is 100x more painful the truth of the telling.
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