I’m not going to say “stop me if you’ve heard this before”. Mostly because I’ve probably told it in a blog before – likely over on MySpace. Nevertheless, we’re going to explore it a bit now, so bear with me.
Or, in other words – “tough”
There was a knock at the door.
One of my four sisters was excited. “I think that’s him, Wolf.”
“Ok let me answer the door.”
“Well don’t say anything. In fact, let me answer it.”
I glared at her. “No. I’m your brother. I’m answering the door.”
Mom looked over the top of her newspaper. “Let Wolf answer the door”
Thus, it was done. Decision was made. No one gainsaid her.
No one would dare.
I walked over the door and opened it.
A scruffy-looking guy stood there. He had thick blond hair that covered his ears. He shoved his hands deeper into his pockets. And, as he looked directly at my nose, he said “um, is Cindy there?”
Immediately I sensed that something was amiss. “Hi. I’m Wolf. Cindy’s my younger sister.”
For some reason, I felt the need to glare at him. I didn’t question it, or hesitate. So we stood there. Him hunched over with his hands deep in his pockets, and me just standing there.
It was only for a few seconds, but it seemed to be enough.
I shut the door and went to my sister. “Cindy, be careful OK? I don’t like him.”
I swallowed my fear and watched as she left the house.
Fast-forward and years later I found out that he attempted to attack her that night. She got away OK.
A year after I moved into an apartment (after separating from my wife), my superintendent brought a couple over to view my apartment. They were hoping to move in upstairs. She was bright and cheerful. A truly likeable person. He, on the other hand was quiet. And his hands were in his pockets. And he couldn’t look at anyone in the eye.
I had that same unsettled sense about him. Only there was nothing I could do about it. Except observe.
A few weeks after they moved in upstairs, I heard them yelling at each other. It sounded as if stuff was being thrown. And the screeching was loud.
Just as I was getting ready to call the police, the yelling stopped. So I put the phone down.
This happened a few times.
A few weeks later, my superintendent was paying a visit (we were friends). He said “did you hear what happened?”
“Remember that couple I showed your apartment to? Well the guy beat up his girlfriend. Put her in the hospital.”
“Yup. The cops were called and they had a hard time trying to take him away. It took three cops to drag him out of the place.”
I looked him, and my stomach fell. I should have called the cops the first time I heard them.
“He must have been hopped up on something. They struggled with him all the way down the hallway. Ended up busting through another apartment door.”
I could only imagine.
Most people are big on getting empirical evidence before rendering a judgement. That’s just logical.
Sometimes you don’t have the information handy to make a decent judgement though.
Sometimes all you have is intuition and instinct. Cops call it a “gut feeling”.
Sometimes you just know that you know.
It has taken some time but I’ve learned to trust my instincts, about most things. You get some of this instinctual knowledge through having living hard experiences. Sometimes you just have it, and you don’t know where it comes from. But, through trial and error, you begin to realize you can trust it.
A few years ago, my girlfriend and I were talking about someone we’d met at a party.
She said “you know she doesn’t like you, right?”
“She doesn’t?” I was honestly puzzled.
“You didn’t see that? It came through with what she said. She was totally being passive aggressive with you. I’m kind of surprised you didn’t pick up on it.”
I shrugged. “How exactly did you figure that out?”
“It was the words she used.” My girlfriend had used logic to reach her conclusion. It was irrefutable, too. And I had missed it.
She looked at me. “I hope I didn’t ruin the evening for you by telling you that.”
“No. Not really. It doesn’t bother me.” And it really didn’t.
The flip side of trusting your instincts is that if your intuition warning isn’t buzzing red, you don’t imagine there’s any problem. And so you get the privilege of thinking the best about everyone. And on the few occasions where your intuition fails you, about something so unimportant as learning that someone dislikes you, it’s not a big deal.
I like it when the glass is half full.
It means I get to drink some more.