Sunlight behaves differently high in the sky then it does near the ground. It's thick stuff; grainy, nearly tangible. I was thinking about the nature of light as it sifted, sunset-honey colored, through my client's thirty-second floor skyscraper office window.
Pinch. Call him Pinch. He was shouting at me. I'd asked him to check his accounts, there was a large invoice outstanding. It angered him. My asking. So I watched the sun stream in from behind his desk, where it pinched his already narrow head, narrow body. I watched and slowly drew my own anger in around myself, saturated myself with it until I felt it in my mouth. I rolled that stuff around in my mouth while the sunlight warmed my face.
He leaned over to shout at me again - got one finger jabbing, insulting the air in front of my nose - did it for so long that I had finished my own personal exploration of my own anger.
It was time.
I slipped around his desk, got him in a headlock, pushed his long, bony chin into his suit and grabbed one elbow.
I yanked on that wing until he screeched.
I screeched back, "You didn't! You didn't do it! It's not authorized - not paid!" I said firmly, without shouting.
" Say it," I asked. "Say it!"
His narrow bones clicked and rattled under a fine sheen of expensive wool. "I did! I authorized it!"
"I didn't pay it!" I parroted in his ear, "I made a mistake! Say it!"
"What's the matter with you!"
"Say it! I'll look into it! Say that! No - Say this: I won't shit on your path! Go ahead!"
He wasn't ready, his sense of compassion needed prompting, he owed me money, all on the up and up - just another day trying to do the right thing. Today called for this.
I forgave myself, wrenched his jaw upward and drove one index finger into his mouth. The teeth. Teeth, teeth, teeth! Just to see how healthy he was - healthy body, healthy mind...
But he couldn't admit that there was an oversight.
I was living in the moment, being kind to myself, but I was off the path - reacting - he'd dropped a mess of rage and laziness at my feet and, well - I was off the path.
"How am I supposed to do this!? Don't bite my finger.., Don't!"
Blood dribbled out from the corner of his mouth, I felt the incisor grind against the bone of my index finger.
"I reach the edge, my edge, my limit, and I don't get a chance to face it because a little shit-twist like you gives me a turd to slip on!? How an I suppose to sit with my anger when I'm slipping on your god-damned turd!?"
"I authorized it! Here, look!" He pushed the keyboard with his nose. The screen flared up, the account was highlighted. And the invoice was red-flagged. His eyes went wide and wet.
"What's that say!?" I shouted, poking the screen with the ragged finger. "Pending authorization! Pending! NOT! - spell it with me! N-O-T!"
My blood sparkled crimson silver on the surface of the monitor when he spit around my finger.
"Oh shit! They didn't... It's on hold... I don't know why!"
Before he had a chance I got the finger back in the mouth.
"I'm trying to put some space around this! But you have my money and I have your incisor and we are not being compassionate or loving! Not to each other! How are we suppose to be compassionate to ourselves if we can't admit that we fucked up!? If we can't touch what hurts! It's sick! Say that - its sick! Say it, or ill rip this tooth right out of your mouth!"
"Id thig! Thig!"
Here we were, at last. "Yes! Pain! Half our lives avoiding the fact that its painful! You are a fuck-up! That's gotta hurt! I'm quick to anger, that's my walk-away!"
The whimpering got to me. "Listen," I said, letting his body slump over the desk, "Lets say you and me, we let go of the struggling, avoidance - stop pretending we're not ashamed of our own inadequacies! Lets stand with this suffering before I have to push you out the thirty-second floor window!"
He nodded weakly, face down against the surface of his desk. I sat back down in the guest chair on the opposing side of the desk. We listened to our breathing, the fan on his CPU hummed into action. Silence filled the spaces in the rest of the office.
After a minute of sitting he lifted his face from the desk, cleared his throat and said weakly, "I'll have this expedited."
"Thank you," I said.
"I could have you arrested you know."
"I suppose you could."
"I could. I may!"
"And, your no longer welcome here. I mean, your off the account. I'll have security escort you out."
"That's honest," I replied. "See, we're being honest with each other. That's something!"
"I will meet with our legal team to assess how to proceed with actions against both you and your firm."
"You may," I said, grabbing my hat and briefcase. "And you may not."
He looked at me and dabbed blood from his mouth. He was standing with his anger, holding it, examining it, sussing out the fear. It was nice to see.
"We are growing.., both of us, just a bit, every day," I said as security arrived to escort me out of the building.