Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Really Nice Present

When the phone rings on Christmas day, it’s either relatives or bad news. 

A few minutes ago, I answered the phone to hear the voice of my student who tried to kill himself back in the fall.  The semester is over and I wasn’t sure I would ever hear from him again.  I took a quick moment to gather myself in order to talk him through another crisis. Or maybe he was in the hospital this time….

“Professor?” he said, “I just called to wish you a merry Christmas.”

“Thank you,” I said. He sounded pretty good. “How are you doing?”

“Actually, I’m doing pretty great,” he said. 

“Really? Hey, that’s terrific! What have you been doing for this holiday?”

He has a woman in his life and they’d been out playing—I don’t think he has done much of that in his young life.  They had been out driving all night, stopping in at truck stops (they were the only places open) to eat.

“We had waffles at 3:30 this morning,” he said. He speaks in a low voice, but he was obviously in a good mood.” 

“Yeah,” he continued, “So, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help.”

“You’re welcome,” I said. “I’m proud of you.”

I’ll tell you the truth. I’m very tired from the holidays and all I want for Christmas right now is a nap.  But when I get up, I suspect that my favorite moment will be this phone call.   

Friday, December 21, 2012

Still Here

The world did not come to an end.  

We'll have to find something else to feed our anxiety.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Can't Look

I can’t look at the TV and I can just barely glance at the headlines.

I don’t to hear the details of the shootings. I don’t to know how many shots were fired. I don’t want to speculate on what the children felt during the time of the shootings. I don’t want to see the faces of the children’s parents. I don’t want to hear of the heroics of the teachers. I don’t want to hear about what people witnessed when they who first arrived on the scene. I don’t want to see funerals. I don’t want to know about the quiet awkward guy who did the shooting and I don’t want to see the agony of his mother.

I can’t look at the pictures of beautiful children that died violently.

I don’t want to hear interviews of psychological experts. 

I don’t want to see the news whores scrambling to interview traumatized parents. 

I don’t want to hear political whores use this event to pontificate about their own views. 

And God, I’m can’t stand facebook where people feed their anxieties about gun laws and extra security and questions about who is at fault for letting this happen.   

I’ve already seen dead children and held shattered parents. I’ve walked through traumatized crowds.  So I don’t want to think about these things.

And yet it’s all I can think about.