Foot in mouth disease

foot in mouth

I loved university. I loved being up to my eyeballs in something I was fascinated with. The challenges and deadlines were all bonuses on top of the actual subject and I rose to greet each one. Anyway that’s by the by, so I’m in the lecture theater and the lecture is about to end. I know I’m getting a phone call very shortly so I excuse myself to go outside to wait for the call.

I get outside and there’s a kid doubled over, sitting pretty much folded over on the side bench. I wander to the bench, my phone out, texting and looking up as I walk. And I sit down on his right side. He shuffles over a little to make room. He is not moving much and my curiosity gets the better of me and I surreptitiously glance sideways at him. Yep, he is totally bent in half, but I do see his phone in his hand and he’s got his left hand side of his face plastered to his phone. Not the left hand side as in, his ear and talking, I mean like with his eye and not talking. Possibly taking a picture of his eye? Or the pupil of his eye? So without thinking for another second I pipe up with “I think you need glasses by the looks of things!” and chuckled a little, breaking the ice and everything. And this is my problem – my brain doesn’t engage with my mouth or vice versa – they work independently (against me!) so this is where I have ended up with this Foot in Mouth Disease – I’m a a frequent flyer.

Well, this kid looks up at me and one eye is covered with that cloud, the cloud that means that they can’t see much of anything out of that eye and the other one is scarred too.

He says, “It’s the only way I can see my texts – glasses won’t help…” I’m sitting there like an idiot. But I did what I usually do and chose not to ignore the elephant.

“So what happened to your eyes?” I asked.

He looked up from his phone again – well, as best as he could, and explained that he had been walking down Queen Street and it was winter. A super stormy day, and Queen Street can become like a wind tunnel on days like that. He had a jacket on that zipped up and as he grappled in the wind with it, the zip sliced across his eye, blinding him totally in his right eye and severely impinging on his sight in his left.

“I’m so sorry dude – really impressed you’re at university…I didn’t mean to be rude by the way….” I trailed off. He smiled, “It’s OK,” he says to me, ” at least you didn’t just walk away – that’s the worst. Everyone knows something’s up with my fricken vision. Lots of people don’t know what to do when they’re confronted with something unexpected…”

We were silent for a split second.

“I’m sorry this happened to you…. but I see in spite of a universal fuck-up in your life, you’re still here, still givin’ it all that!” he laughed at me and I laughed too.

“Often people so let the wrong things define who they are, or the worst things. The fact that you rise above this defines who you are.” He looked at me with a serious frown, somewhat created due to his lack of vision.

“Thank you for that, I needed to hear that right now…” he said.

I didn’t know his name but I did know much more about him than just some letters to identify him to his friends, family, fellow students and work colleagues. Not only that, but I found out even more about myself, or maybe about people. We all share commonalities – common likes, enemies, feelings, injustices etc. We all share bonds and those deeper threads of what make us who we are are far more interesting and important than your name, your clothes, your home, car, bank account…we truly are here to fill our souls and not our wallets. I take my soul with me when I go – I will leave my earthly belongings behind.

© Kait King, 2015

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35 thoughts on “Foot in mouth disease

  1. “We are truly here to fill our souls”— amen to that! And “I take my soul with me wherever I go”… love it! I’ve learned from my dad to strike up conversations with the random people you come across Day to day. The clerk in the store ringing you up, the barista while making your coffee, the bank teller, whoever. You’re there anyways, may as well spread some sunshine and love! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of
    clever work and coverage! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.

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  3. I would give anything to be able to write like you! I would like to introduce myself-my name is Shellianne and I recently started my blog and website for Retinitis Pigmentosa (www.rpsupport.org). Before you hit the back button, I”m not writing this for a shameless plug-just believe in full disclosure. ANYWAY, I absolutely love reading your work-you have a way with words that makes me laugh and I admit; I’m totally idolizing you right now. Don’t be scared; not in some creepy stalker-like way. Just can’t get enough of your work. SO just wanted to say thank you for what you do. I’m still reading your story about your previous life and whatever it was, THIS is what you were meant to do. OK enough gush for now. Regards, Shell
    Oh and I’m going to be sharing your content. I feel I owe it to my fellow man to do so.:-)

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    • So nice to meet you and – Oh you have made my day Shell! 🙂 Thank you and blessings to you! I struggle with letting go of my past life – it’s what I had wanted for so long…but as I say, life has a way of letting you know what you need to get on with – if you listen that is! 😉 There is no other way for me to say thank you for your inspiring words other than to put them in letter form from a keyboard – but I really needed to hear that right now 🙂 it means so much to me, so a monster big thank YoU! from me 🙂

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  4. You do have a very observant eye, coupled to a unique fashioning of words which contribute to a movement and flow that draws in your reader with an engaging perspective. C.S. Lewis said (and I am paraphrasing) ‘You don’t know what you truly believe until you try to write it down,’ clearly your unique perspective shows you are ‘one with words.’

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    • Oh thank you so much for your very kind and generous words! My whole goal is to drag my reader in – I couldn’t wish for better praise, thank you! 😀

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  5. Perhaps you went to the wrong university? or maybe in the wrong country!?! 😉 My lecturers were amazing – but also were recognised worldwide and had been teaching in US and UK very open book and eye-opening, Come to NZ – you’ll love your uni-daze here lol 🙂

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  6. This is beautiful thank you so much for sharing such a profound moment with an incredible man. I believe the same, rising to the challenge is the definition of greatness. Thank you I needed to read something so uplifting. 😊🌟

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