Friday, January 12, 2007


There was a rumor going around that he was adopted. No one knew if it was true or not, and he didn't seem interested in setting the record straight. All I knew was that he seemed sad, and he wasn't singing like he usually did.

I stood right behind him on the rafters, so I knew.

During our break, I inquired about his mood. He mentioned that in addition to the rumors about his family, he felt overwhelmed with our new music, and knew people expected him to be better than he thought he was. He needed more practice, but had no time to do it.

Our next period was lunch. While everyone filed out of the auditorium, I lingered by the piano, waiting for my chance. I was hoping that being the well respected, highly trusted student that I was (yes, it should be read teacher's pet) that I could easily slip the one of the black leather music folders into my backpack without incident.

Sure enough, I completed my task and scurried off to the cafeteria to find my friend.

I approached him only when I saw his table scatter-we were chorus friends-not "real" friends-and walking up to him in the cafeteria would have caused somewhat of a commotion. He eyed me wearily as I quickly sat down and pushed the folder in his direction.

"What is this?" he stammered.

"The music. I took it from Mr. Asch so you could practice at home." I was beaming, I could tell. My eyes were wild with heroic light and sweet, sweet music rang in my ears. My smile may have even sparkled.

"Why? You stole the folder? That was dumb. Bring it back-I'm not going to practice at home." His disregard for my risk broke my heart, his scowl dimmed my light.

"I thought you-" He cut me off.

"Look. I don't want to be mean, but you should go back to your table. And bring the music. I don't want Mr. Moravak to see me with this and think I stole it. That's all I need." He looked away with finality. He seemed to be holding his breath.

Forlorn, I looked down at the shiny black leather with it's gleaming gold fasteners, buldging with music that would forever make my heart heavy with regret. Slowly, I rose and walked back to my friends, who were watching my every move.

That's the day I realized that people don't always want to be helped. Or that they don't know how to accept help. Or that they want help, but not from you.

It's the day I realized that my good intentions (and doing something to help another person) will not always make me feel good.

It's a lesson that still knocks me off my ass from time to time.


One who listens said...

Ah yes. That's a lesson you get every now and then in your life. I still vaguely remember being shouted at by a woman for offering her a seat on the bus, or it might have been offering to help her get her pushchair on the bus.

She was offended that I thought she was a helpless woman, or so she said. Knowing a little more about life now, I imagine she was just an angry person who was lashing out at me because she could.

It's a tough world. Luckily, it's not all there is.

Owl. :)

Bond said...

Mags: I have been in a similar situation, and though I was loder when it happened, it still hurt that my well intentioned display of friendship was disgarded like an oily rag.

Michael said...

So true...

First time reader and I must say that you seem way cool. I do believe I will lurk this way awhile.

Take Care

Mags said...

An oily rag...I usually keep those. ;)

Michael-LURK AWAY!

And also comment sometimes too. ;)

crpitt said...

What an ass. Even if you have some personal shit going on and your head is up your arse, you should still show some appreciation if someone tries to do something nice for you.

Monkee said...

I was just thinking about this today. You read my mind.

kristarella said...

It may be disappointing and hurtful, it also shows that you are a lovely, giving, generous unselfish person.

Dumb Poet said...

This fall under the heading of "No good deed goes unpunished".
One more brick in the wall of cynicism. I can relate.

I love your blog and I am going to put you on my blog roll

Segue said...

You were right for trying.

He was right for refusing.

I admire your good-heartedness, and I admire his integrity.

Your point is right on target, though: People don't want to be helped, and it is equally true that they often don't know HOW to be helped.

The following article is somewhat relevant, and I'm glad, because it needed to be shared:

(You might have to watch a quick ad before you can read the article, but I promise it's worth it.)

Mags said...

cfpritt: Yeah...looking back though, we were pretty young...

Monkee: I wish I knew what you were thinking...right NOW!

Kristarella: Thank you! I like that you called me "lovely". It's a nice word to be called.

Dumb: I'm sorry I have to call you dumb. Thank you for blogrolling me and for coming by!!

Segue: I've had a glass of wine too much tonight, so I'm going to read your article later when I have a clear head...thank you for posting it here though. YOu always have such good suggestions and comments...


Skittles said...

Well I don't know who to feel worse for.. you or him. Obviously you, because what you tried to do for him was so sweet and then you got hurt. But also for him.. for whatever reason was behind his refusal.