I have been having a stressy evening. As wispfox would say, I am out of cope. I am on negative cope. As I would say, I have been mortgaging spoons all week and have crashed out hard. It surfaced a little earlier, when slipjig, zarhooie, dicotomygrrl, jmspencer, and his girlfriend were all in the hotel room and everyone was talking at once and trying to plan stuff and AAGH!, but I settled down and went off to have a nice later-afternoon with dicotomygrrl... and completely crashed upon my return to my hotel room. Like, shaking, near tears, punching the bed when I had trouble with something. Just... not good.
So I cancelled my evening plans, and called a Comfort Person to ask if I could sit on his couch and read comics. Because what I need when I'm like this is to not be on, and not be trying to get anywhere or do anything, and not be around people who don't already know me well. But I need to not be alone. So. Sitting on couch, reading = having the white noise of people around, energy-wise, but not having to do anything. (And I have to say that I am so incredibly happy to have Comfort People here already, and the prospect of more people becoming Comfort People in the near future.)
So I hopped on the T (and I have two funny T stories - remind me to post them), and headed out. And at the second stop, a family got on and sat next to me, or, in the father's case, tried to. The train took off right as he was aiming for the seat, and he pretty much ended up in my lap. He was apologetic, I reassured him that I had survived intact, et cetera.
And he started talking.
Now, I have One Of Those Faces. One of those "please tell me your life story" faces. Most days, I have no problem with this; I absorb stories, and it's good for people to talk. Today, though, stressed to the gills and trembling, I did not want to listen. I listened anyway because that's what I do, and I accept that, albeit occasionally grudgingly, and anyway, a few stops on the T, whatever, I can just nod and smile.
Not this time.
The family was in town because the wife was having surgery for a spinal cord tumor.
The man needed to talk about neurology. With someone who knows stuff on the topic, but as a patient, not a doctor. Someone who is familiar with the exact hospital his wife is in, even.
The man needed to talk to me, and he was shoved in my lap for that reason.
So we talked. He told me what had been going on with his wife, and I reassured him, gave him feedback, understood. He was desperately in need, and with a few minutes, I was able to give him what he needed.
I got off the T at my destination, wishing his family the best of luck. His daughter hugged me.
Sometimes we are exactly where we need to be. Sometimes people we need are exactly where we need them. Sometimes the universe is how it ought to be.
I feel much better now.
Now, comics. And Mirrormask.