Pissing in the wind,…twice

…on the same island.

The recent destruction in the Virgin Islands caused by hurricane Irma brought back a couple of Caribbean memories from that area.

In our early 20’s (hmm,..the mid 70’s or thereabouts), friend Bruce and I traveled to Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, two consecutive years, to visit our friend John who was a school teacher there.  The first trip was an exploratory adventure.  We road our new 900 cc Kawasaki’s, the largest they made at the time, from Eastern PA to my aunt’s home in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

I had stayed with Aunt Gladys for a month several years prior when I was in early high school.  She lived on the intercostal waterway, where, with her husband, they owned and operated a marina.  They sold new and used boats and rented slips.  The deal was, I could stay for a month as long as I helped around the marina.  Fait accompli.  Gladys, my mother’s oldest sister, was cool.  There were no televisions in her home.  Cell phones and computers didn’t exist yet.  Each night after dinner we played two-handed pinnacle, bantered about anything and everything, and sipped vodka and grapefruit juice.  I must have been 16 or so, but she made me a weak drink each night so that I could share the entire experience, and perhaps to give herself an edge in the game.  That only added to her coolness.

My second trip to her marina in Jacksonville Beach was several years later with Bruce.  Aunt Gladys was kind enough to keep our bikes while we flew to Saint Thomas for our ten-day island escapade.  John was a straight-laced guy in high school, but it didn’t take him long to shed his Catholic High School image.  When John met us at the island’s airport, he could have been mistaken for a hard-ass pirate, sporting a full chest-length beard and demeanor to match.  He was glad to see us and took us directly to the east-end of the island where we had an unobstructed view of St Johns, a brother island to St Thomas, and where four of his friends were readying a 36-foot sloop for a 10-day trip in the waters amongh the British Virgin Islands.  We didn’t spend one night on solid ground during that trip as we went from plane to boat, and afterward, from boat to plane.  Each day was spent in a different part of the BVI archipelago, where we snorkeled with spearguns by day, feasting on our catch that evening on the boat.

This wasn’t our boat, but it could have been — the image reflecting our experience accurately.

During our first night, the anchor was thrown overboard somewhere among a group of islands, none with visible lights, just uninhabited tall dark mountains protruding out of the sea.  There were four bunks below and two makeshift sleeping pads topside.  John and I elected to sleep outside on the deck that evening.  At some point during the shimmering moon-lit night, because the beer we had been consuming was not a small amount, I woke with a need to let some out.  As I steadied myself on the edge of the swaying bow, holding one of the mast stays while mesmerized by the reflection of plankton in the dark sea, I started draining the processed beer.  Just then a vigorous and steady gust blew at me, redirecting the water I was eliminating back toward the boat.  At about that time I heard John belt out, “Freddie, Freddie, get down below, it’s raining.”  When he didn’t see me on the cushion, but rather standing on the bow with a sheepish grin, one hand holding the stay and the other holding, well, you got the picture, he had some other, stronger words to say.  Fortunately, John was an even-keel kind of guy.  After his initial excitement, he simply said: “Freddie, please, while you are on the boat, don’t piss in the wind.”  We had a lighthearted chuckle before he dove overboard to rinse off.

All that was needed was a snorkel, fins, and speargun, and lots of deep blue.

Those ten days left me awestruck by the beauty and variety of schools of fish we swam through.  It was a large tarpon school, not the individual sharks, that had my heart in my mouth.  From one minute to the next, swimming with a school of fish larger than I was, would have, if I hadn’t been holding it, taken my breath away.

The second-year Bruce and I flew from Philadelphia to Saint Thomas to stay with John on the island.  No sailboats this trip.  We wanted to know the island.  John lived in the hills, in a rustic area, where the roosters were our wakeup call.  I was enamored, so much so that I called my then wife and persuaded her to come down and join me.  After some coaxing (I couldn’t understand why she was apprehensive about a spontaneous vacation on an exotic Caribbean island), she agreed to fly down.  I excitedly took a bus to the airport to pick her up two days later.  I immediately became a tad concerned by the nervous look hidden behind her smile, which only deepened as we hopped in a taxi and made our way up the curvy mountain road to John’s place.  After two days it was evident she was not a happy camper.  She loved the beach, but the blue-green waters and warm white sand of the Caribbean weren’t enough to compensate for the perhaps unrefined setting in the hills where we were staying.  It just wasn’t her cup of tea.  Rather than the planned week with me on Saint Thomas, I rebooked her return flight only two days after her arrival.  She was happy to leave, and I was happy she did.  It was nothing between us.  She was uncomfortable in that island setting, and I couldn’t change that.  In hindsight, I mistakenly tried to force her to like what I liked.  For the second year in a row, although this time metaphorically, I was pissing in the wind.

A view of Magens Bay, Saint Thomas on the way up to John’s place.

This second island adventure still ended up a good trip for Bruce and I as we bounced around the isle’s more remote beaches trying to improve our inept spearfishing abilities which we never seemed to manage gripping.  We were mostly too slow.  When I found the occasional seemingly lazy fish, it would stare back at me with those large, glassy, fish-eyes, as I aimed my gun. Then,  the split second after I fired, it would turn broadside, the spear bouncing off its body as if it was saying, “yea sure, go ahead and try to spear me you goggle-eyed spazz.”  Luckily our friends were experienced fishermen.  We ate seafood like kings during those trips.  No pissing in that wind.

Epilogue

  1. To this day, whenever there is a choice between finding a discrete location on natural earth or water vs. a public breath-holding bathroom when a piss is calling, the outdoors always wins hands down.  During long distance (pedal) biking trips, brother PI called these outdoor pit stops ‘natural breaks.’  Of course, they were.  Pissing outside (not in public) is natural.  When the opportunity presents itself and the air stronger than a light breeze, John’s message from all those years ago still has me checking wind direction first.
  2. Our marriage didn’t last long, perhaps six years through the majority of my 20’s.  What we both learned the hard way was that trying to force one another into an undesired role never works.  It’s like pissing in the wind, always resulting in messy, unintended consequences.

The melting point of nickel

Neither of us had given it much thought before that evening.  We were sitting on either side of a campfire that had been burning for several hours.  The warmth felt good.  Even though it was summer, the midnight air was quite cool in the Teton Mountain Valley near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the elevation is about 7,000 feet above sea level.

Brother P was living in Florida at the time.  He had a vacation (if that is what it’s called) from the air-force, so we decided to take a motorcycle camping trip across the country.  I was living in eastern Pennsylvania, so we decided to meet somewhere in the middle, then head west.  Even though we were both not new to motorcycles, it was our first long-distance camping trip on two wheels (we had taken a camping trip together around the circumference of Iceland in a rental car when he was stationed there.  Another story for another time).

We ended up in Jackson Hole taking only secondary roads — no highways and no schedule were the rules — as we camped in out-of-the-way places.  The Jackson Hole camp was the only one where we stayed in an “official” camp site.  Still, it was sufficiently rustic, with each camping space having its own campfire area.  And fortunately, there was an abundance of dead wood scattered about and not many other campers.

Outside of Jackson Hole, part of the Teton mountain range from the 7,000 ft high valley floor.

As we soaked in the fire’s warmth under a crisp, clear, star-filled night, our conversations traversed many topics, mostly philosophical.  Then P pulled out a nickel coin and said, “I wonder if this will melt in those hot coals.”  I didn’t think so, I said, but as the coals were red hot, brother P was betting on yes, at least to some degree.  He pitched it in the coals.

A little while later, our conversation drifted to one where P admitted having a strong itch to get back to Florida.  In fact, he was feeling a deep pull.  I told P that if the draw was that tenacious and if he wanted to go back, then he should follow his inclination.  We were big boys, each one on a different side of 21-years old, but both independent.  I would continue the trip as planned, I told him, and there are no strings, so no problem splitting off on your own.  There was relief on his face.  As we retired to our respective tents, he said he would sleep on the decision, and that if he were gone in the morning, I would know what he had decided.

I heard nothing before waking up to an almost empty campsite.  He must have walked his motorcycle some distance away so he wouldn’t wake me, I thought.  Hmm, I remember thinking, he reached his melting point, deciding to cut his trip short and beeline back to Florida.

The coals can reach over 2,000° Fahrenheit

It was a strange feeling having spent more than a week with a brother and traveling companion only to have him unexpectedly vanish overnight.  We had at least 10 days before our trip was over.  But still, there was peace as well as excitement on that chilly summer morning as I lit my Sterno stove kit, made coffee, while I packed my tent and sleeping bag on the bike.

Before leaving camp, I sifted through the dead fire’s ash and recovered the nickel.  It was blackened, but not melted.  As we later learned, the melting point of nickel is 2,650 degrees F (1,455° C), higher than steel, but slightly less than iron.  Coals from wood burning fires reach only as high as 2,012 degrees F (1,100° C).  Not that much of a difference, but far enough.

I road west that morning, across the Tetons and into Idaho, then circled south through Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and into Arkansas where I popped in to visit my dad’s sister MJ who lived outside Little Rock, before meandering northeast through Tennessee and home towards eastern PA.  I felt lucky because each night I stumbled upon off-the-beaten, peaceful and beautiful makeshift camping spots.  Every so often I pulled out the blackened nickel and pondered melting points in general.

It didn’t look so clean after sitting in the coals all night.

Because it was well before cell phones and text messaging existed, I didn’t learn until much later that P, on his 2,500-mile voyage home, came down with a bug not long after leaving our camp and was laid up in a hotel room for 48 hours recuperating.

A year or so later, I presented P with the burnt nickel that he had thrown in the fire, in a transparent sealed polycarbonate cube, as a remembrance of our trip.  His face was less than enthused which surprised me.  The nickel, from my perspective, represented exceptional camaraderie during an extraordinary trip between two brothers.  His reaction showed me how views differ.  Perhaps his under-enthusiasm of receiving the nickel wasn’t that it hadn’t melted, but that it reminded him of something else that had.

Of course, I don’t know if I’m right.  Perceptions are unreal, made-up concepts.  They are kind of like guessing at the melting point of nickel when you have no clue.

Everything though has a melting point.  But not everything can resist the warm, hypnotic embers of a wood campfire far from home.

It was just another cloudy day

The sun hadn’t made an appearance from dawn to dusk, well covered by a fast moving cloud mass at both medium and high elevation.  Nevertheless, the sky was beautifully overcast, with a broad spectrum of gray hues defining a sort of polyrhythmic flow above.

Finishing our first year in college, a friend from high school, nicknamed E, and I, decided to head to Florida for Spring break.  Not that we knew much about spring breaks, we were just going to visit our friend Jimmy.  Neither of us had cars road-worthy enough of the thousand-mile trip, so we decided to hitchhike to South Carolina, where we hooked up with a friend K, who was attending college there and also had a school break.  And a car.

In high school, there was a gaggle of guys, and for some reason, we called ourselves (and still do) “great men.”  I think the origin started when any one of us did something daring or noteworthy (stupid?), he would be called “a great man” (even if we were still teens).  The term stuck.  Anyhow, this trip was a mini-reunion for four great men.

E and I hitched to the Carolinas, catching rides with all types of characters.  We were invited in the back of converted hippy vans to smoke pot and were even picked up by the Grand Marshall of the KKK as he was passing through Virginia going to his home in North Carolina.  Yes, that KKK.  He treated us to lunch at a roadside diner. The manner of his talk raised the eyebrows of two guys from north of the Mason Dixon who didn’t share his culture nor his beliefs.

After meeting K at his University, catching up on nourishment in the school’s almost vacant cafeteria, we headed south for another 12 hours, freed from the need to stick our thumbs out for a ride, arriving at Jimmy’s at dawn.

A few ‘great men’ gathering for lunch about 5 years ago.

To me, Jimmy was truly a great man.  He defined cool.  He was also good looking, with a sophisticated suave, yet down-to-earth demeanor, and at the same time charming, funny, engaging, and a downright damn nice guy.  He set us up with accommodations in the dorm of his quasi-military flight school, where he was studying to pilot planes.  After inviting us to breakfast we all went to the beach, which was directly in front of where we were staying.

I was exhausted, not having slept much during the past 36-hour trip, so I crashed on the beach, not able to participate in the catch-up banter that first day.  There is nothing like sleeping surf side.  Having spent time on the New Jersey and Maryland seashore growing up, dozing in the sand by the water was nothing new.  What I didn’t realize this time was that Florida is different, i.e., closer to the sun by an ever-so-slight a fraction that it matters.  So I took off my shirt and fell fast asleep on that somewhat windy overcast day, the image of the beguiling sky firmly imbedded in my memory before my eyelids took over.  I hadn’t planned to sleep the entire day, but I did, which proved to be a huge mistake because apparently, as I learned later that evening, the Florida sun can burn right through clouds.  I woke up as red as an overripe tomato and in pain that seemed to grow by the minute.  That night I could not sleep, not because I slept on the beach, but because my skin hurt so much.  Every movement hurt, even picking up a glass of water made me grimace.

Somewhere near how I felt after a cloudy day in the Florida sun.

I was down to my last five bucks, regretting to spend half of that on a can of solarcaine, a sunburn relief spray (prices were that different then).  I don’t remember if it helped much, but I’m sure the placebo effect did.  The sun’s torturous impact lasted at least two-full days.  Just as the pain was subsiding, our visit was over.

Jimmy died not many years later while piloting a commuter flight in New Jersey. He was barely 25.  In retrospect, at the time it was nice to have had those several days with him just hanging out, away from our homes.

I had been sunburnt before, but never like that day.  The experience was enough to gain a healthy respect for cloudy days in tropical climates.  That particular cloudy day also reminds me of a young guy and great man, who, having a much shorter than normal existence, still unknowingly left a positive influence.

Just waking up on the Jersey beach, in those teen years, yet un molested by the sun.

Do you have a cloudy day?  😮😀

Moments of Heat

It’s summer, it’s supposed to be hot.  At least north of the equator.

The Shanghai area, with very high humidity, can seem like a steam bath some days, with temperatures hovering around 100 deg F, and the “feels like” higher than that.  That’s fine by me, no complaints.  It’s just that the other day I was late for an appointment and had to jog a few blocks, in street clothes during midday, which turned the perspiration glands on high.  It’s not ideal being in a meeting with sweat rolling down your face and back.  But, ideal may be overrated.

It brought me back to the first time I had a taste of real heat.

A good friend, B, and I decided to take a road trip to California from eastern Pennsylvania.  We were 21 years young.  B had saved up and had just bought a new MG Midget.  He was so proud of his new purchase and kept it well buffed, always a soft cloth handy to banish any bug or dirt marks.  The British made sportster, an appealing dark olive body with a black canvas top, fit two comfortably, possibly a third with the top down. The engine sounded throaty like a sports car should.  It was without a doubt a cool car for two young East Coast studs to drive to California and back.  We had only two plus weeks, and our sights were on the Pacific Ocean, from San Diego to San Francisco, so we aimed to drive straight through, day and night, rather than dally along the way.

For some reason, we started our excursion on a mid-week just after sunset.  In celebration, we foolishly packed a cold six-pack of beer along with a couple of hefty, expertly-rolled joints.  Being his car, B started the driving trip.  We made it to the middle of Virginia that first night before he turned the driving duty over to me at about 2 am.  The beer was finished, and we had burned through one of the joints.  B said he was tired.  I happily, although reluctantly because I was also sleepy, took command of the new sports car while he slept.  In retrospect, how he might not have imagined, after partying with him up to that point, that I wasn’t also tired, was, unfortunately, not beyond me.

This MG Midget was significantly cooler in the early 70’s.

It was somewhere around dawn when the rumble of the interstate’s shoulder woke me up, just as I was about to smack into a thin reflector post.  To try and avoid it, I over compensated with the steering wheel and the car lurched back into the highway, spinning counter clockwise a couple of times until we landed back on the shoulder, just as a tractor trailer wailed past.  While we were spinning B was screaming, which added drama to the already confusing few seconds.  When the car stopped, we both looked at each other,  steam oozing from the car as I realized I hadn’t missed hitting the post.  We got out of the car.  After surveying his new baby, he was distraught.  The impact with the post cut the front bumper in half, creased the front grill, and the bounce of the reflector landed an ugly dent in the middle of the hood.  I apologized as much as I could have and tried to persuade him to see the bright side, that we were alive and the car still worked.  B was despondent nonetheless as his brand new wheels were suddenly disfigured and we had barely begun our journey.

Fortunately, the damage was mostly cosmetic, so we continued.  But the next few days were accompanied by an umbrella of gloom.  It was like his newborn had been assaulted.  In those tight quarters, I could feel his pain.  Whenever we stopped I tried to steer B away from staring at the car’s new defective look.

By the time we reached Arizona, oil had started spritzing onto the windshield.  WTF, I thought as I happened to have been driving again.  I pulled off at the next exit which luckily was on top of us.  We popped the hood and could see that the oil cooler, which sits right inside the front grille, was leaking, more than likely from the jolt a few days earlier.  We could not continue, especially in the desert heat, without fixing it.

It was late Saturday afternoon, and we were in some podunk town in central Arizona. But luck was with us as we drove slowly and found an auto parts store that had the foreign part we needed.  The problem though, was they were closing in 5 minutes, and we didn’t have tools.  They didn’t install.   The sales guy suggested a garage on the other side of town if they were still open.  We decided to split up.  B stayed to purchase the oil cooler, and I hoofed it to the garage.  I remember a thermostat reading showing it was 120 deg F.  This was no time for walking so I ran block after block trying not to stop, hoping I could get to the garage before they closed.  The next day was Sunday, and we didn’t want to burn two days staying in a small desert town. Bathed in sweat I barely made it, but mister garage guy wasn’t about to stay open to do the work.  However, he was kind enough to lend me a wrench, if I promised to leave it by his door, which meant climbing a fence when we were finished.  No problem, I assured him.

I lightly jogged back to the car-parts store armed with the wrench I hoped would work.  The two non-mechanics in us somehow successfully managed to change the radiator-like filter in the parking lot.  After refilling it with the not-easy-to-find special oil, which we stocked up on just in case, we were ready to go.  We drove back to the garage so I could return the wrench where I climbed the fence and, with pleasure and relief, placed the tool by the guy’s door with a note of thanks.  But what garage guy didn’t tell me was that there were dogs loose after hours.  One of them spotted me and started racing toward me, fangs out, barking like he found an intruder (?).  I ran and leapt to the fence, climbing fast, managing to clear enough elevation before the K9’s teeth were able to chomp on its unexpected invader.  I never jumped a fence so quickly.

We both laughed.  I was just happy to see B in a cheerful mood and his baby running well.  It was all hilarious, and lucky.  I was drenched as I tucked myself in the passenger seat.  Even though the sun had gone down, it was still over 100 deg.

Running through a sleepy town in the Arizona desert in full sun during the middle of summer was my first experience with real heat.  While feeling dribbles of sweat during the meeting the other day, I couldn’t help but smile, knowing that at least I didn’t have to rush to change an oil cooler or outrun a mad dog to jump a fence.  It was just another moment of heat.

Hacking

While it may not be the new verb on the block, hacking has morphed into a new comfort zone, shedding some of its bad rap.

When I was young, the ‘hacking’ I knew was messy.  Hacking a branch off a tree was sloppier than cutting it off.  Hacking was also the loud bursts of a spasmodic cough you could hear coming out of heavy cigarette smokers.  And of course, hacking was the description serious golfers gave to my golf swing.  The fact that I unintentionally hacked off a few plants at the roots with a gold club made me a hacker.

Could this have been the reason I was a hacker?

Then came personal computers, their coded languages, and the unauthorized access to other’s data.  Computer hacking was born.  If you hacked, you were a hacker.  Hackers were, and many still are, devious, spreading bugs, viruses and stealing what isn’t theirs.

Then at some point in recent evolution, we included building something quickly and being able to solve a problem using a shortcut, as part of the hacking definition.  Hacking became a good thing.  You can now find online life-hacking tips.  Dave Asprey, in his book Head Strong, discusses various techniques for hacking the brain to optimize its use.

One suggestion for brain hacking

Vanessa Van Edwards, the author of Captivate, outlines a multi-step approach to hacking the personality traits of others, for enhanced relationships.  I recently read a blog post by a doctor discussing the benefits of exercise hacking to improve workouts.  Hackety, hack, hack, hack.

Many of us are looking for shortcuts and tricks to gain an edge.  That now means hacking, which is okay, if, in the end, we are more productive, efficient, healthier, and good to each other.

If that’s the case, count me in.  I could be down for some serious hacking, wherever I can find it.

It’s all about balance

Ha.  Just like most things in life.  I didn’t realize how challenging it would be, although I didn’t suspect it was as easy as riding a bike.  I asked the owner of an NYC West Village specialty shop last week if he thought an old dog could indeed learn new tricks.  I knew the answer.  Still, he responded like a good salesman telling me what I wanted to hear.

For some reason, over the years the sport bugged me.  When I lived in San Francisco, they hung out in groups, loud and sort of obnoxious, disturbing casual walkers along the Embarcadero, perhaps because they didn’t have a formal place to play.  Instead, they used benches, railings, steps, and anything they could otherwise jump or slide on, and eventually destroy.

But beyond the racket they made, the sport didn’t make sense.  Incessantly practicing tricks and performing by flipping a wheeled board while not going anywhere didn’t seem logical, or much fun.

My new 32″ low profile longboard

My feelings about skateboarding started to change when I was exercising at Manhattan Beach, in So Cal last year intermittently watching surfers finish their morning bout with the waves, then hopping on skateboards to travel along The Strand.  That made sense — a commute vehicle.  Since then I’ve noticed more people using boards as a form of transportation, not just for acrobatics.

Gradually the bug bit. ‘ Why not use a skateboard as an alternate form of commuting in China, where it’s relatively flat?’ I started thinking.  GV suggested that I consider a scooter, which is probably a smarter idea.  But I was anxious to try the hands-free wheels.  Hence, I walked into Uncle Funky’s Boards last weekend and left 30 minutes later carrying a new longboard.  They told me the longer the board, the easier to learn, so I picked up a 32-inch model.  The more extended 38 incher I may have preferred was too long to hand-carry on my fight to China.  As it was, I barely finagled the 32 through the Newark airport security process strapped to my backpack.  It was too long to fit in my checked bags.

Unfortunately, the beautiful side faces the road surface

It didn’t take long to gain respect for how fast this board travels.  The four thick 75mm wheels start rolling without much coaxing.  Tumbling on my ass as the board sped away gave me the reason I needed to start slow.  I’m sure it’s simply a matter of TOB (time on board), and balance.

The new toy means I’d better carve out a little time each non-rainy day practicing if I’ve got any hope of seriously using it.

This guy, also featured last week, is as cool as a cucumber on his wheels

As in skiing or skating, part of the skill and confidence comes with stopping ability. Today as I was cruising down a slight decline picking up speed, I realized I didn’t know how to stop without jumping off.  Being a low profile board, the trucks — skateboard lingo for the bracket holding the wheels — are at the ends of the board bolted on top, opposed to typical boards where they are positioned underneath.  These low boards make stepping on the end and tilting the board down to stop, hard to accomplish.

Another challenge is twisting the feet.  While pushing the board for acceleration, both feet are parallel with the board, but cruising, they are perpendicular.  While I was gaining speed in the decline, my feet were in the perpendicular cruise position.  How was I going to twist my front foot parallel and skid to a stop when all I could do was concentrate on saying on the board?  I awkwardly jumped off, knowing I have a major hurdle to conquer.

It will be a while until I’m ready to use the board for a commute vehicle.  The manner in which the locals don’t give much credence to right-of-way means bikes, peds, and cars can end up in your path unexpectedly — requiring immediate reaction.

All in all, I’ve got a new respect for the skateboard tricksters.  Even though I still have zero inclination for tricks, I’m hungering for some of their stability.  But I suppose that will come with TOB.  For now, I’ve got a newfound appreciation for balance.

Still trying to figure out which side to face.  Left foot forward, or right?  Maybe it’s gotta be both, taking turns.

 

 

 

No-Fault Thought

It’s an insurance policy I took out for myself several months ago.  No-fault thought (NFT) — prevents crashing into a wall of nonsense.

Gibberish thoughts tend to badger the consciousness more often than necessary.  Those thoughts are the slight annoyances that occur when, say, someone pulls in front of you, either when walking or driving, or when someone says something or behaves a certain way that doesn’t suit us.

If I feel like this at times, it’s a mirage

Why, I contemplated a few months ago (in a moment when the mud must have cleared), should anyone or anything annoy me?  Because I’m human?  Because I’ve got ego and emotions?  Because I’m right and someone else is wrong?  They are (seemingly) justified rationalizations, but only a mirage.  So I took out the policy.

The essence of NFT is that everyone’s actions or words are justified in their own minds.  If their conduct doesn’t conform with mine, no one is at fault.  If someone crosses my path, utters remarks I don’t appreciate, or otherwise interrupts my rhythm, it’s not their fault. They were acting or moving according to their own tempo.  Our rhythmic waves intersected for a split second.  No one’s fault.

The policy helps curb the voice which insists, periodically, that the universe should act a certain way.   NFT doesn’t mean that some people are not irritating at times.  It just means that in their heads, we’d have done the same thing.  By turning to the policy, it helps to allude a moment of annoyance.

This guy was vexing if only for the time being before I remembered NFT

Being exasperated with anything or anyone is really an admission of impatience, or more often, displays our limited understanding.  Even a flicker of irritation shows us that we didn’t, at that moment, have the capacity to understand.  The NFT policy is a blanket license to admit we actually don’t comprehend why others do what they do.  We can’t.  None of us has the experiences of another.

The clever suggestions in our heads can so easily justify a form of self-righteousness.  The downside — it’s most always ill-perceived and leads to moments of unhelpful grit.

Have there been times I’ve forgotten about NFT?  Sure, fog runs thick between my ears more often than I care.  On the bright side, NFT has been seeping into consciousness with more frequency since I picked up the policy.  It must be, like most things, a matter of practice.

Until I can find a way to paste No Fault Thought in my frontal cortex, the times that I can recall the policy helps to serve as a reminder that I’ve got a limited capacity for understanding others, and I am better off nipping tiny worthless thought spirals in the bud.