Have you ever had something that you kept working on only because no one knew about it, like a surprise scrapbook or a story or something? And when someone finds out about it before you're ready, doesn't it take all the wind out of your sails? Inspiration dies. You falter. And now? Now you don't even want to work on it anymore.
I'm kind of feeling like that today. I didn't have any secrets planned, nothing really in the works, but I found something out yesterday that made me really want to stop writing. It pissed me right off, firstly, and, as a side effect, it made me not want to write anything else.
Invasion of privacy is a scary thing...at least to me. It makes me feel things I don't want to feel. It makes me consider big questions.
Let me tell you a story.
Too bad. I'm going to tell it anyway.
When my brother and I were younger, one day we awoke to a thick blanket of snow on everything. Our first thought, in sync with every other student in the county, was "MAYBE THERE WON'T BE SCHOOL!" So we turned on the clock radio in the kitchen, and we sat on the table in the dining room looking out the picture windows at the snow that was still falling down.
"Sandwich schools are closed." We smiled.
"Plano school are closed." We smiled.
Somonauk schools are closed." We started bouncing up and down. They were getting closer.
Finally, "Lee, Rollo, Waterman, and Shabbona district 425 are closed." We bounced up and down in joy, anticipating the possibilities of the blank canvas set out in front of us.
"SNAP!" The table we were bouncing on broke in half. The supports snapped. A leg bent. And we were deposited on the dining room floor, which carried a few deep gouges.
We stood up and looked, our bright white day becoming instantly tarnished as we thought about what would happen when Mom came home. That broken table stood as a bleak reminder all day long about the payment exacted for having such good news. It was Illinois weather all over again...never a beautiful day without a tornado warning. Never a snow day without a broken table.
And when Mom got home from work, she walked in the front door, kicked snow off her boots, took one look into the dining room, where my brother Jake and I were both standing with our best apologetic faces on, and walked upstairs.
I turned to look at Jake. "Maybe she wasn't mad..."
My brother knew differently.
Years and years later, my mom told us the story from her perspective. She said she was so mad she couldn't say anything. She was scared of what might come out if she started yelling, so she went to her room.
Why am I telling you this, and what does it have to do with the rest of this post?
Sometimes the quietest response conceals an amazing amount of hurt and anger.