Friday, April 2, 2010

Burden

I am carrying textbooks.  A big stack of them.  So high that I can't really see over them.  They aren't quite balanced.  It's all I can do not to drop any.  And it's my job to see that they are taken care of, whatever that means.

A person walks by and notices the books.  "Wow, that's a heavy load," the person says.  "You are doing a great job.  Keep up the good work."

Another person walks up to me and says, "Yeah, you have a lot of books, but you should see my stack.  I have bigger books and more of them.  But I'm strong so I'm doing fine."  I don't know how many books this person really has.  I can't see past my stack.

Another person, "You may have more books, but I'm not used to carrying books.  You should take some of mine."

All the while I'm trying to keep the books stable.  I'm trying to do my job.

A couple of people offer to help, but my stack is so unstable, so imbalanced, that I am afraid to let anyone else touch them.  Besides, it's my job.

Another person comes by.  This person doesn't see me.  This person just sees that I have the book this person has been looking for.  This person grabs the wanted book (from the middle of the stack) and walks away, somehow missing the sound of books falling and my sigh of frustration.

And I stand there.  I stand there and stare at the books on the ground. 

I want to drop the books and run away.  I want to run away and hide.  In a dark corner or a closet.  Anywhere that I can hide and not be found.

But I don't.  I hold the ones I still have.  I stare at the ones I dropped.  And I just stand there.

8 comments:

Jessica Grosland said...

You are so cool. I was reading this and the whole time I was jealous because of your writing skills. I was thinking, "I wish I had written this."

I'm kind of in love with your metaphor. I'm glad half of my chromosome's came from you, because that means I must have some of your awesomeness inside of me.

K and D Roylance said...

since the books have already fallen, I will help you pick them up and will carry them beside you for awhile if you'd like, so you can catch your breath....my stack is pretty short right now.

Katy said...

Whoa.

Dona said...

Hmmm. I hope I wasn't the one who grabbed the book out of the middle of your stack or someone else's stack for that matter. It is a great metaphor. I think I might feel a Robin-is-provoking-thought- headache coming on.

Katy said...

I keep thinking about this.

I think I am the kind of person who looks around the stack of books and tries to talk to the person behind them. I hope they know that I'm willing to help or listen if they want. It's not that I'm pretending the books aren't there, just thinking that maybe the person holding the books may want to think about something else for a little while and thinking maybe I can provide that.

MaggieJo said...

amen

Bonnie said...

Amen Sistah. I find myself trying to shift my stack of books so that I can see better and don't run into other people and step on their toes. I keep wondering if I should put down my stack and offer to help someone who looks exhausted. And I keep getting distracted by what books they're carrying, and so tempted to ask them to tell me why this or that book, because I get curious and forget that their stack is heavy and they're probably trying to get somewhere. Sometimes I'd just like us all to put down our stacks and sit in a circle and get the reader's digest versions of everyone's books. Like book club, or a library. But I can't because I'm carrying this stack of books...

DarthBillgr said...

I could put the book back if you want.