The Wrath Of Nebuchadnezzar And Me
HABITS – THEY ARE LIKE QUICKSAND. Once you find yourself mired in them it can be difficult to get out. Yeah, quicksand, or contracts with a cell phone company or a relationship with someone who sucks the life out of you and eats crackers in bed.
Not all habits are that dramatic. Most habits just kind of sneak up on you and you are perfectly comfortable with them – until someone or something comes along to break into the usual pattern of everyday life.
I had such an intrusion into my life this morning. Nothing big, mind you, or earthshaking, but, darn it – it made me alter my routine – and I like my routine.
I pulled into my usual parking spot at St. Arbucks. I was going there early this morning to sit down, sip my coffee, and do some writing – just like every other day of the week. I came through the door and, horror of horrors; someone was sitting at my usual table! My heart skipped a beat. I was speechless, which was probably a good thing, because if I had said aloud what was coursing through the ruts in my brain I would have been screaming, “You’re in my Pew, Infidel!”
Not a good way to win friends and influence people.
That Interloper had his stuff spread all over two tables, effectively making four seats off limits. I normally keep my things neatly placed in such a way that others can have a place to park their carcasses. I’m a good neighbor.
After I got my life-sustaining coffee I had to figure out what to do. It was awful early in the day to be making actual decisions. I looked about the room. That trespassing vandal and I were the only two people in there. What were the odds that he would have the entire joint spread out in front of him and would plop down in MY PLACE? This intrusion into my life had shaken me.
I sat down at another table, but it just wasn’t right. The light didn’t hit my notebook right. The chair was all wrong and there was too much of a draft from the door. Nothing was right. Nothing was as it should be.
The Power of the Habit was taking control of my day. I was contemplating leaving and going home to sulk when, all of the unexpected sudden, the man at my table spoke to me.
“Hi, John, how are you this morning?”
I guess that I didn’t really look at him all that closely. All I saw was a humanlike form in MY SEAT with his junk all over MY TABLE. Now that I looked at him I realized that he did look familiar. He was not a complete stranger. He was a semi-regular Usual Suspect who had always been cordial. I shelved my plans to call down The Wrath of Nebuchadnezzar upon him. He can live.
Okay, so I overreacted a bit. I should have stayed true to my worldly image as the super-cool dude in the Giants cap, but it was barely 6 AM and I was caffeine-deficient. That and the power of my Habits
took over my head and my heart and came close to reducing this otherwise innocuous intruder to a smoking cinder lined pit at the table by the window.
The Manager of St. Arbucks would have probably been upset with me if I had acted rashly. He doesn’t like me swatting flies. I can just imagine his reaction to the biblical proportions of a Babylonian Pagan Firestorm in his store.
I am in control.