This is an acronym for the word fear in 12 Step. It’s one I try to remember, however, more often that not, find it slips my mind.
This morning while occupying my little corner in Starbucks, I notice a frail man looking along the floor by where I was seated. He wore pants a little too short, a torn sweat shirt and a tattered Mets cap carrying a Trader Joes bag.
My heart flew open without thinking as I softly said, “Are you looking for change? I’ll give you what I have,” and he said, “Change? I’m looking for an outlet for my computer.”
I apologized, but once again was rudely reminded, things aren’t always what they seem.
I have a friend who drives a Mercedes and people are chronically taking advantage of her. She’ll lament to me and I’ll say, “It’s the car. They assume you have money and can meet their needs regardless how inappropriate.” I’ll just bet if she drove a Chevy it would stop.
People see my address and automatically think I have money. I don’t even have a super. They fired him to turn his apartment into commercial space.
There’s a woman I see a lot on the avenue I’ll call Gail. She’s well dressed, smiles all the time and never fails to stop to ask how I am. Come to find out she has a daughter with lymphoma who’s confined to a wheel chair, something I was shocked to learn.
“Gail, who cares how I am when your daughter is so sick?”
“I care. It’s made me much more aware of other people and what they go through.”
How humbling was that answer?
A see a cute guy emerge from a town house most mornings. He must have gads of cash, I think. Turns out he’s the cook who lives upstairs. But by the looks of his sleek black blazer we thought otherwise.
Camille called one day all aghast. “I just saw ML with another woman. They were walking right down Columbus Avenue arm and arm. Can’t he be more discreet?”
ML is our friend T’s husband, and the woman he was mauling, as Camille put it, was his sister who lives in Brazil he hasn’t seen in eight years.
An ex model, I’ve always been a little envious of after marrying the love of her life who happened to be a millionaire, was loping up Madison Avenue. They live in a gorgeous house on 70th Street appearing to have everything. She has everything alright, including a brain tumor she just had taken out. When I saw her with a gauzy white turban wrapped stylishly around her head, I thought…wow, how chic…she really hit the jackpot, till she told me the hell she’s been going through.
I can go on and on with examples of acute short-sightedness, but you get my point.
Often there’s pain beneath loud laughter and contentment behind a scowl.
The poorest looking can be the richest while the one shining, in debt.
What will it take for me to remember things are rarely what they appear to be?
Maybe one of those electric leashes that stun you where you’re too close to the road.