I got myself out of bed and put my feet to the floor. I dragged them as a grumpy, insolent adult would upon going to a dentist's office.
"Hey, wake up!" she said as I did that.
"What do you want!?"
"You can't sleep all day."
"It's only ten o' clock," I yelled through the door.
"Doesn't matter. If I'm up then you're up!"
"Alright," I said while rubbing my eyes.
The footsteps walked away and I found myself in an unpleasant mood. I groaned and moaned, cursing to myself after having only four hours of sleep and abhorring being rudely awoken. Today was not going to be a good day.
A friend picked me up to go out and my irritation hung around like a nasty, nostril clenching odor does when lingering in a hallway when there is no exit. Each sound that he made like clearing his throat, clicking his teeth, swallowing, breathing or hearing the window roll down agitated me; even out of the corner of my eye when he took a look at my miserable face I just wanted to tear him apart with an unneeded caustic diatribe and say, "Don't look at me."
The whole day went by and I nearly said nothing.
During the ride home I did manage to say, "You see that font on the back of the truck?"
"You mean where it says the word 'Aaron'?"
"I have this feeling inside of me; an irrational irritation; a feeling that I can't put into reason; what this feeling is suggesting is that font is horrible, and I hate it, loathe it and the people who put it on the truck should not have and they should die because it hurts my eyes."
"I don't know. I was rudely awoken, and for some reason things that wouldn't normally bother me are. That is why I wasn't speaking much today. I didn't want to say anything that I would later regret. That happens sometimes when I'm irritable. I am just in a bad mood and not as a result of anything other than, I guess, my own inner workings. Like all people, sometimes, well, today is just a bad day," I said, sighed and continued, "Now if it were to last several weeks I may become concerned but I'll just write it off as a bad day for now."
"Well, isn't that how all negative feelings are?"
"The person who designed the font is not out to get you. Something makes you want to believe that to justify that ill willed feeling or temperament. The people who designed the font on the back of the truck didn't intend to piss you off specifically. At least you recognize that your irritability is simply a state of mind, a product of your own inner workings and just a temporary one at that. Usually most things negative are just a result of the person contriving them to be so; they are not that way naturally. Sometimes we just want them to be to give reason to that unsettling feeling, to justify, hopefully abolish the irritability in the process given that the reason for your feeling of negativity is what you are giving it. But it is not. Think of it like this; since the dust is already unsettled as your bad mood is unsettled, compared to a neutral and baseline state of mind, the things that come into your mind are not being clearly seen, they are distorted by your current negative mind-state. Not only that but that you are also able to speak to this issue shows a willingness to accept your state of mind instead of evading, averting, escaping it or blaming it on something else other than yourself. You're taking responsibility and holding only yourself accountable for that negative feeling. If you'll notice, you are still able to practice mindfulness despite this negative feeling wanting to distract you from just that -- that is where people can go wrong in dealing with a feeling such of this nature. Plainly, you understand your agitation is not a result of someone or something other than yourself. The ability to express such a thing rationally, with me, and to not beat me down in the process and that you were able to keep your mouth shut for fear of saying something regrettable but opened it to discussion in order to understand it rather than to criticize it, hurt someone, well, that shows great restraint, an amazing amount of restraint and discipline towards your human condition, our human condition. Effectively, you kept your mind and reality in check! I want to say I am impressed and happy to see progress with something like that -- in anybody, for that matter, and that you weren't so selfish as to ruin my day too!
The only response I gave was a nod and a silence then followed for the remainder of the car ride. I felt better and even better that I didn't have anything to feel bad about as a result of my irritated mood. The ruffle was my irritability and the diamond was my mindfulness and the unsettled dust that needed to be cleared in order to acknowledge this insight was a misunderstanding towards my bad mood that without my friend I may have never been able to settle.
The brakes slightly squealed. The car had stopped and so had my irritability.
I got out and said, "Thank you."
We both then waved and I went into the house. But, as he was driving off I could hear him say, "No, thank you!" And, into the house I went -- smiling.
My face grimaced, lips pursed. My nostrils flared and eyes glared. That font on the back of the truck was a Gothic font.
— Nik (@Nik_Bertino) June 15, 2014