“a couple days,” i said to Joe, my landlord, as he climbed up the stairs from the basement with his laundry in his arms, and his little boy Corvin on his back. “and i’m gonna give you two months.”
“even better,” he grinned, as if it was of no consequence that i was paying my rent late- or that i had paid ten days late last month and perhaps twenty late the month before. i got into my car and said to myself “see- everything is going to be ok.” i must have said it twice more… gently and just under my breath as my hands smoothed about the cold blue steering wheel. repeated it softly like a sacred mantra as i tapped my feet on the gravel dotted floormat where the material had been worn away from the last month and perhaps the month before. sometimes i fear i’m lying to myself, and that i’m the only one who doesn’t know it. but i’m not! i swear! despite all of the earmarks like ‘the fed-ex is on the way’ or ‘i’m waiting for a check to clear.’
i think it is belittling to say anything at all in times like this. barring some extreme catastrophe (my parent’s died in a plane wreck) there are few occurences that can exculpate someone from not being somewhere on time, not paying rent on time, not holding up one’s end of the bargain in general. see- it just doesn’t matter why. either you rise to the occasion or you don’t. the sheer presence of an excuse implies you are ignorant to this fact. excuses are thrown down like cards with the expectaion of overturning a clearly superior hand. like throwing down a joker or two long after they’ve been cast from the deck.
excuses are the ‘division by zero’ of the trust equation. a cold calculator will instantly recognize not the error, but the impossibility- whereas a person may feel compelled to contemplate the equation against more subjective and personal variables… compassion… pity… sheer disparity of confidence.