Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bruising, Decomposition Speed, and Dancing in Circles with Yew

A few months ago, I was in line waiting to pay for my lunch. The person in front of me was told that her credit card was not working, so she couldn’t pay for her $6 meal. The cashier seemed annoyed, and everybody behind me was complaining about how long things were taking. The girl looked embarrassed. I heard her stomach growl.

“Add my ice cream—yes, I was having ice cream for lunch, leave me alone!—I’ll pay for her stuff, too,” I said.

“Oh no,” the girl looked horrified. “You don’t have to do that.”

“Don’t worry too much,” I smiled. “It’s not like I won’t make you pay me back. I promise to haunt you until you do. I’m mean like that, you know?”

We both laughed really loud at that. The cashier and a few people, whose lives must be measured in seconds, began to glare at us—we were holding up the line.

The girl and I exchanged phone numbers. I suggested she text me when she had the money, and we could meet by the cafeteria.

She called me a few days later, and we met by the library.

“Thanks so much,” she hugged me. “I had a test that day, and I would have probably failed if I took on an empty stomach.”

We spent a few minutes trying to learn how to pronounce each other’s names—she is Korean and I’m Dominican, so the attempts went on for a while. We said bye, after agreeing she should call me Mags and I should call her Yew.

Yesterday, nearly three months after first meeting Yew, I went to register for a course I’ve been dying to take. I’m not part of the department that offers the class. In fact, the program is not even part of my school curriculum. I get to the place, an hour before registration time, and sighed; the line was at least 28—very annoyed—people long.

A professor—whom I’m sure was ancient at the time Nature made herself—walked outside and said, “There are only two seats left.” Her words created chaos. People began cursing and speaking of injustice and bullshit. The teaching crone closed the door. The line broke, leaving only the two smiling people who got lucky.

I sat on the floor and started my laptop. I was searching for another course I could take, when a voice made me look up from the loading page.

“Hey Mags,” said Yew. “We don’t get many of your kind around here,” she cocked her head towards the morgue. “You creative types are crazy about graveyards, but not many seem interested in the stiffs.”

“You know me,” I winked. “Medical students, Witches, dead people, definitely my thing. Weird to the bone, baby.”

After twenty minutes in Yew’s office, discussing postmortem bruising, decomposition speed, and T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, I told her I had to go and see about getting into a different course.

“I can add you if you like,” Yew said. “Professor X always takes a couple of extras.”

I think I screamed a little, but I can’t remember. Everything happened really fast. One moment I was feeling crappy because I couldn’t take the class, and the next I was on the phone with my Piano Man, telling him, “Remember that girl who didn’t have money for lunch, and I let her borrow six bucks?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“She helped get into the class,” I squealed.

Life happens in circles, doesn’t she? And the living dance is so much more enjoyable, when we do it holding each other’s hands. 
The Circle of Life, borrowed from Art of Africa.


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45 comments:

  1. What a terrific story! Decomposition sounds like a lovely subject, er....not really, tee-hee! Congrats on getting into your class!

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    1. Decomposition is a great thing, really. Think compost and renewal, that might make the image in your head smell less terrible lol

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  2. Wow - that's such a great story. It shows how kind you are that to let her accept the help you soothed her ego. I can tell you really wouldn't have cared either way if she paid you, you just wanted to help. I was just happy when you said you met up because I was thinking "yup, she just made a new friend." That she was able to help you out, proves that you get what you give. *hugs* So happy you got the class you wanted...what is the class???

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    1. Sometimes the things we don't like or might bring us shame are best absorbed with a little humor, I think.

      And yes, I've made a friend and she has an amazing mind. Seriously, I will see if she guest post one day. I've never heard anyone speak of the inanimate human body the way she does. Somehow, she manages to describe the uncanny, point out why it is important and fascinating, ans she does it without sounding creepy. She rocks!

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  3. kindness is always the best decision to make.....and your kindness paid off....

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    1. Indeed. It doesn't always "come around" right away, but when it does, it arrives with the magic of a spring drizzle while the sun smiles to the earth ;-)

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  4. I liked the bit about people who must have lives measured in seconds.

    I am always surprised how upset people get about truly stupid things.

    Now if you two had just been up there swapping recipes for consonant heavy names and no good will was taking place I may have whipped a jello cup at you.

    But probably not.

    Jello gives me gas.

    GOOD FOR YOU MAGS!

    Dead people are cool, I get to play with them next year.

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    1. I get annoyed, too. Everybody does. I'm sure I'm not the only one who sighs several time as a sweet old gal count five dollars in pennies, you know? But every now and then some people forget about using common sense.

      I'll make sure not to bring Jello to our picnics ;-)

      Oooh, can't wait to read your stiff accounts!

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  5. how very cool. a perfect example of what goes around, comes around.

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    1. I thought the same thing. Most times the circle takes so long to complete that we might not notice its completion. It is nice when it just happens ;-)

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  6. All these books written about being kind to strangers for you never know who you'll be helping comes up here. I love reading stories like this. Perfect timing and perfect synchronicities.

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    1. That is so true. One never knows whose shelter will be near when the cold rain drowning our sunny predisposition, you know? ;-)

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  7. This is very cool. Decomposition classes sound grossly fascinating, like squeezing a really nasty oozy spot times 1000000! Did you know that you can donate your remains to laboratories that specialise in the stages of decomposition, where they bury bodies and students come and dig them up several months later to see what has happened to them. ;)

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    1. Uncanny cool, indeed. A friend of mine, um, Angie, described it as a train wreck and I agree with her. You have an idea of what's going to happen, you see it coming and know it is going to be horrible, but you still want to see it lol

      I had no idea, but I did a little research after reading your comment, and wow. I found some awesome medical sites, which could do wonders for the reality touch in the plot of some mysteries and horrors.

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  8. Pay it forward in real life. Love it.

    \IiiI

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    1. Talking about Paying It Forward, I'm almost done with someone pay-it-forward surprise. It is a great feeling indeed (I think I've used the word 'indeed' too much today).

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  9. Way to "pay it forward" Yew :D A very wise lady told me once, that a very wise man had told her, the best way to re pay a favour is to pass it on...I always do :D It feels good :D XXX

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    1. What a wise chain. I love those. I'll make sure to pass on the wisdom, too.

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  10. Replies
    1. Circles are what keep the world turning, right? Yea times three!

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  11. Awesome story! I love how things fall into synch like that. :)

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    1. Me too. It doesn't happen often, or often enough for me to notice, but when it does, wow... the loveliness ;-)

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  12. What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing it - brightened my day :)

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    1. I'm so happy this brightened your day. Knowing so, makes my own day quite sunny ;-)

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  13. Oh what a sweat story.I have an old piece I hang on my wall that says: the world is a circle,what looks like the end is the begining.
    I also give freely to others and think that my gifts are blessings and they will come back to me by way of karma.Blessed be... and to your new friendship.

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    1. That is a wonderful piece of inspiration you have there. Blessings right back at you ;-)

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  14. Beautiful story, I am so over angry people who think empathy is a weakness... I did something similar for an old man who didn't have enough to pay for 2 cans of beans & bread once, he was obviously embarrassed, it made me cry the cashier told him to 'CHOOSE' which he wanted :(
    Kew sounds Kewl :) Love icecream as your lunch choice too & happy karma my girl :)

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    1. I've been in similar situations, and it takes all my strength not to tell the cashier what is going through my mind. I know they have a job to do, and they are selling not giving, but there is no reason in this world to be so soul-dead and so freaking nasty. They better begin praying that what goes around doesn't really come around, for if it does, they will find themselves very, very, very lonely.

      I'm making myself angry just thinking about it...

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  15. This is the best story! It's not surprising that your big heart brought you an opportunity to help someone and to also be rewarded. Yay for you getting into the class!

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    1. You know, I've always say that I'm very lucky; that I'm always at the right place at the right time and for that reason have gotten some awesome things and met some incredible people. My Piano Man usually tells me that I should take deeper look and see that it has very little to do with luck. I think he's right, sometimes we are just harvesting the field we planted.

      And super yay indeed! I can't wait to drive everybody nuts talking about what I'm doing lol

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  16. What a fabulous experience and perfect example of "what goes around comes around". Keep on putting out those good vibes and wonderfully dark writings.
    Happy Friday.

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    1. I shall keep them coming, charge with energy and oozing creepy smiles ;-)

      Happy Friday to you, too!

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  18. hello Magali ! please your Countrie, for the directory

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  19. Proof for anyone who might need it that the energies you send out in to the world are what you get back!

    Glad you got a spot on that course!

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  20. Beautiful story my friend! This is so true, life does happen in circles! I haven't said anything on my blog, but the two police officers, that are in charge of my mom's case in Ontario, are two people she helped out with in the early 1990's! Where we use to live, we had a little house and mom rented it out cheap. People always said, you're not making any money, you're crazy. Well mom always said, maybe not, but I am helping people who truly need it. There was two police officers that lived there at separate times, when they started out. These two police officers are detectives now, and like I said, are working on mom's case! I think that's brilliant!!!! Who would have known???
    Congrats on the class!! Sounds cool! Hugs ;o)

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    1. That is wonderful, Stacy! I was already happy your mom was getting helped with her case, now that I know they are also friends I'm doing our happy dance.

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  21. This takes me to a happy place.

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    1. I can see you smiling... ;-)

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  22. Life really is a circle and if we could only help each other it would spin around much more smoothly. Your story touch a real cord with me today. There has been something happen local to me that I won't go into on here though it's in the news at the moment. Just to say it did destroy my faith in human compassion more than a little. Your story has just restored it.

    Thank you Magaly
    Jane x

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  23. Dragonfly, you've made my week plus a couple of days. Knowing that sharing my day brought you some consolation, and even some inspiration to see life in a new light, makes me feel extra magical. I hope whatever happened around your town gets solved soon.

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  24. This is such a beautiful post. I could not have summed it up better..."Life happens in circles, doesn’t she? And the living dance is so much more enjoyable, when we do it holding each other’s hands."...Those words are pure poetry for the soul and your kindness is a gift to humankind. I am always so very proud to call you friend. Hugs eternally, Mina

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    1. And my soul dances your words ;-)

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  25. It is definitely awesome when a chance meeting, or just being nice, results in something awesome like this happening down the line.

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