Saturday, 14 June 2003: morning
It was bright and sunny outside, a good day for a friend’s wedding that afternoon. And I was looking forward to going.
I’d just finished breakfast and I was rinsing a bowl at my kitchen sink when I saw a drop of water on the nearby window sill.
I frowned because the position of that drop seemed odd, or too far to have splashed from my tap.
A moment later, another drop of water landed on the same spot.
I looked up and saw a small leaking crack in the top of the window-frame.
Suddenly, the phobia about leaks through my ceiling that I’d had for the past few months came rushing back with a vengeance.
I wiped away those drops, put a container underneath that crack and began thinking worriedly that perhaps I wouldn’t be going to my friend’s wedding after all.
Next, I once again stepped outside to my neighbour’s apartment to find, very fortunately, that he was home.
Once more he grabbed his tools and went upstairs to the apartment above.
Soon he returned to report that he’d dealt with what was causing that leak (I can’t remember now what had caused it).
I thanked him very much, but after he left I worried yet again that perhaps I shouldn’t go to my friend’s wedding and stay home instead…
Fortunately, I told myself to stop fucking over-reacting and go to the wedding.
A few hours and no more leaks later, I did.
Saturday, 14 June 2003: evening
My friend’s wedding ceremony had gone well.
A few hours later, I was at the reception in a very picturesque part of Sydney.
Not only was it a good reception, but a lot of other friends from work were there as well.
I was enjoying myself.
Every now and then, a worried voice from the back of my mind wondered if that crack in my kitchen window-frame had begin leaking again, but I would ignore it…
…until about halfway during that evening when I was sitting at my table after dinner, and I looked over at the main table where the bride and groom were sitting side-by-side.
I smiled as I admired how attractive and happy they looked on this very important day in their lives…
…which then got me thinking about myself.
Here I was at a great social occasion, and I was still fretting about a fucking leak that morning that had been fixed.
And then I considered the rest of my life at the time, and didn’t like what I saw.
How even more pathetic.
I continued admiring the bride and groom while dwelling on my shitty life and self.
Finally, I said to myself the four words that, to me, undid what I thought I’d accomplished through The Turning Point:
You’re a fucking loser.
I added several more angry words that I’ve since forgotten, told myself to fuck off and went back to enjoying the reception.
And I did, despite giving myself one of the most negative moments of my life.
Three years later that moment would unexpectedly come rushing back to haunt me, but that’s getting ahead of myself.
Saturday, 14 June 2003-2006
Either not long before 14 June 2003 or soon after, I stopped meditating.
Either I wasn’t doing it properly, or I was trying too hard (or too badly) to get back to the experience of that amazing first time, or…whatever the reason, Transcendental Meditation had stopped working for me, so enough.
I felt that way with some regret, as I did with everything else I’d experienced and learnt at The Turning Point, but the reality was I had only experienced a temporary turning point in my life.
I had tried to do something about my shitty situation, and for a while it had seemed to work until I decided that it hadn’t.
Why? Did fault lie partly or wholly with The Turning Point, or partly or wholly with myself?
Several times I pondered thought, and each time I ultimately concluded that the fault mostly or wholly lay with myself.
So fuck me.
Three years passed.
Despite the slow but steady growth of my debt problem that would reach its ugly climax in four years’ time, life by 2006 wasn’t too bad – and thanks to earplugs at night, at least I was sleeping a lot better.
Work in general saw some improvement, including my first-ever visits to another city that would become a favourite of mine – Melbourne, Sydney’s traditional arch-rival. On the downside, however, my colleagues and I had yet another manager who was very disliked (at the time, one colleague retired early partly because she found working under him so unpleasant).
But it was another work situation that left me so badly shaken I was compelled once again to take action about my life.
That, however, is another story for the next series of Before Black and Blue Man.
Until next time, stay well and take care