Like Dillard, I never knew this little tidbit about bobwhites. Summer mornings, when I heard bobwhites whistling in the sunlight, I always thought they were hungry or happy. I translated each "bob-white!" into something like "free worm!" or "bright light!" I never really thought they were singing "razor!" or "gas stove!" Yet, there it is. The sound of misery in the natural world.
I've been thinking a lot about sorrow tonight. You see, I have a person very close to me who is absolutely the most miserable person I know. Let's call her RW. RW never smiles or laughs, and, when she sees other people enjoying themselves, she gets angry. RW wants everyone to be as unhappy as she is.
This evening, I had a disagreement with RW. My son was having a small temper tantrum, and, instead of letting me handle the situation, RW had to hover and stare and inject her venom into the proceedings. The result was a shouting match between RW and myself. And the thing that pissed me off the most: RW, in the midst of the hollering and swearing, actually looked like she was enjoying herself.
A part of me feels bad for RW. I know she's sad and angry and unstable. But there's another part of me that just wants to run her over with my car. She has a way of bringing out the worst in me. I'm usually fairly easygoing. I don't lose my temper very often. I prefer calm and reason. That pretty much goes down the toilet when I'm around RW. Five minutes in her presence and I'm Charles Manson.
I have to remind myself constantly that there's a whole lot of sorrow behind RW's actions. She lost a lot this past year (including a close family member). She's pissed at God for that. She has panic attacks at work. At home, she mopes and mumbles and bitches. All the time. It's like being around a bobwhite in summer--a looped recording of "bob-white!" that plays incessantly. Lorn and desperate.
I am trying not to hate RW right now, and I am failing miserably. I love her, but I just can't stand being around her. Funny thing is, I don't thing RW likes being around RW very much, either. She simply won't or can't let herself be happy.
There is no happily ever after to this post. After our little dispute earlier this evening, there weren't any apologies exchanged. We simply ignored each other. And now I'm at home, blogging about bobwhites and misery.
Saint Marty will probably wake up hearing bobwhites calling in the snow tomorrow morning: bob-white!--kiss my ass!--bob-white!--you suck!--bob-white!--fuck you!--bob-white, bob-white!
|I needed a good laugh . . .|