Monday, July 23, 2007

The Early Bird Catches... A Lot.

I'm early.
She is already there (no big surprise there) speaking with the Camp Instructor.
The Instructor upon seeing me immediately leaves her company to greet me at the door.
Hi! Your kids aren't here. Their vans haven't returned yet.
I'm standing in the entryway holding the door open. Gretel is still in the car so I want to stay close.
Over his shoulder I see Her. I try to catch her eye so I can give her a friendly nod of hello but she refuses to make eye contact as the Instructor rambles on about how he took a short cut and of the lack of faith displayed by the other drivers who refused to take his lead and are now stuck in traffic. Harhar.
Maleficent paces the floor. Fidgets. Looks around everywhere but in my direction. The vending machine. The dry erase board. The wall. The floor.
I've seen this body language before. She is anxious. Nervous.
But about what?
About being caught trying to pick up Cinderella early?
Over the Instructor's choice of the phrase "your kids" when he addressed me?
Or is she still experiencing residual hard-feelings from this misunderstanding (which Cinderella said she cleared up).
More parents arrive. I hold the door open to let them in. I'm still trying to break from the Instructor's gab-hold so I can return to Gretel.
Something's caught the Instructor's eye. An unfamiliar face. He watches as this Stranger, who is nervously looking over his shoulder, is clearly feeling out-of-place, proceeds further into the dojang.
Can I help you, sir?
Oh, he's with me.
Maleficent lays claim to this Stranger.
I've only seen Him from a distance. And only through her car windows whenever he has accompanied her to pick up Cinderella.
It's her Boxing Coach, turned something more. "Mommy's friend," as Cinderella calls him.
Her new hobby Man.
I shall call him ... Diablo.
Diablo joins Maleficent's side. He gently leads her to the farthest wall opposite the doorway where I am standing. Their backs are to me and the door. They are quietly speaking.
He appears to be comforting her. Their heads are hung close together. His hand strokes her back.
It's not until I return to my car, having broken free from the Instructor, and upon seeing Maleficent and Diablo making a hurried exit to her car, that it occurs to me Diablo was there because of Me.
Did he think Maleficent was in some sort of peril being left in the dojang alone with me?
Did I make her feel trapped by the fact that I was standing in the doorway?
(Oh, puhlease. She's a grown woman. Say excuse me and walk out the door forfucksake!)
Does my presence cause that much anxiety?
What did He think was happening?

I am both offended and empowered.
Offended that He would think She needed rescuing.
Empowered to think that I actually have that kind of affect on her.
And at the same time... I am bothered that I have given this much thought to it.

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