I was in the lineup for Starbucks at a rest stop on our way home. We knew we wouldn't make it all the way so we weren't in a huge rush. I had the desire for a green tea and we both had to 'make water'. The line up was long and there was a couple behind me. Whoa! Were they mad at each other. They snapped at each other, each blaming the other for something that had happened at a family visit. Each doing what they could to hurt one another.
Joe came and joined me and we joked about something he'd seen in the gift shop and I made sure I knew what kind of treat he wanted from the glass cage. Bored, Joe went out to stroll through the booths of vendors at the front door. He promised to keep an eye on me to see when I got up to the counter so he could come back and help carry the drinks and treats.
The couple behind had fallen silent. She then offered to go get a pretzel to share, he said he didn't want to share one, if she wanted it go get it for herself. Then she said something I couldn't hear. He said that she had been sarcastic towards him for two days so why would he want to share something with her now.
I tried to edge myself away from their negativity but I couldn't get far enough away to stop their anger from flowing down from their lips over my shoulders. I glanced out the door and saw Joe making a face at me wearing large brightly coloured sunglasses. I waved and laughed out loud.
Then the angry guy behind said, pointing at me, "With all you've got you are never happy. Look at him, look at what he looks like, look at what he faces every day in his wheelchair, and yet he's happy. What's wrong with you? Why can't you be even a little like him?"
Everyone heard his outburst. He didn't care, he was angry. She stormed away.
I was mortified. Didn't know what to do with my eyes.
Neither did anyone else.
Then I was at the till and I ordered, when she was filling my order the clerk said, "For the record, I admire you too."
Being capable to order tea? For smiling at Joe's antics? For looking like me and still going out?
Then suddenly my annoyance broke and it all struck me as funny. Plop me in a wheelchair and I'm the chicken soup for someone else's soul.
I hope they burn their tongue.