An interesting thing had happened last Sunday on my way to New York.
I was on a morning bus from Providence and in short, the man two rows behind me was not well.
When he boarded with his older friend, it was clear that the two were perhaps, eccentric, not on the same wave length as most of us or just still on the effects of alcohol and or drugs.
Long story short by two hours into the journey, the man, who claimed he was an ex marine, was slamming his head against the bathroom door, crying, trying to open the emergency exit door and screaming racial abuse at passengers. His threats to beat a man up, turned into "I will put bullets into his brain" and finally ending in "I will blow this bus up."
I have never felt so sad and scared at the same time as I literally cowered in my seat.
The police were excellent. The driver was excellent. The other passengers were excellent.
All I could imagine was how this set of circumstances may have escalated. How any one of the other people could have reacted and how that may have impacted this already tense and very troubled situation. What if he did have a gun? What if someone else did?
As someone who writes in her plays about mental illness because it interests me, I must admit I felt shame. What gives me the right to think I can share details in my work about such fragile human brains? What on earth do I know? Yes, I've seen some things, but do I really know and understand?
Like many, I was troubled about the news of the suicide of Anthony Bourdain. The image he presented does not match the image he left us with, and like many, I again am reminded that you never know.
We are so deeply tender and are effected by so many things that spin around us. I watch the television news and feel bewildered not knowing whether something is good for us or not. I see people around me and I find I second guess whether I can trust them or not. And now we hear threats and actually wonder - could that be for real?
I guess this post is just another reminder that we all need to stop and breathe. Trauma is all around us, shown in a troubled face and shown in a confident, handsome one. Success is clearly not in the outer skin and our souls, brains, hearts, and our very beings are constantly needing care and attention.
Nobody is kidding when they suggest wearing a safety belt.