My good deed for the month

When I turned 30, I promised myself that wherever Kelly was (Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, a certain “library” where all of her books are “published”), I would always try and make her proud of me.

To me, that means trying not to hurt other people deliberately, treating people whose opinions run counter to my own with some respect, trying not to make fun of people whose opinions, stances, and livelihoods aren’t “popular”, etc. Part of that also has expanded to waiting a little bit of time before passing judgment on someone because I know what it’s like to be seen and dismissed because of the way I look, act, and behave.

The young man I met at the McDonald’s on my way home from a jazz/billiards/ping pong hall in the West Village was “stranded” because it was close to 4 am and he lived in Jersey. He looked like your average post-college frat boy with his dark brown hair gelled up into a faux-hawk, a wide leather collar on his wrist, and an iPhone-imitator in his hands.

While we waited for our post-drinking breakfasts, he spun a story about needing to find a place to hang out for a while before his shift at a chain restaurant in the middle of Times Square. Having been in his same situation once or twice before, I decided to let him crash on my couch. And here’s where the story really starts.

The additional part of the story he spun was that he was a star of a Broadway musical that’s currently running. When we arrived at my place, I surreptitiously attempted to verify his claim by doing a Google search on my phone for the stage name he gave me; at least he got that part right. When I awoke this morning but while he was still asleep, I did some further investigation and the pictures I found of the actor he claimed to be did not match the face of the person sleeping on my couch.

Now, at this point, there’s a few conclusions I can make from this. He could be a consummate player, a compulsive liar, an opportunist who used my good will to scam me out of a place to sleep. If this is the case, then fair play to him, because I did let him into my home.

But even if he did “play” me, then what have I really lost? I was going to take a cab home anyway, I don’t have enough valuable items in my apartment to warrant a return visit, and since I live in Brooklyn and we were both tipsy, he’ll never be able to find his way back here on his own. I did a good deed by ensuring that he didn’t wander around Manhattan for hours, he’s going to get to his job on time and somewhat rested, and I have an interesting story to tell my friends (and the Internet, via this blog).

Since I stopped believing in God and the afterlife, I’ve started to put more faith into the system of karmic balance and the idea of “paying it forward.” My new philosophy is also tied into a section from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s book Good Omens, wherein Crowley reveals that by causing a cell phone service interruption in the middle of the day, he has helped tempt more people into performing “evil” deeds because most humans tend to pass their anger and frustrations out on other humans.

Though the book itself is a work of excellent fiction, the fact that as people we tend to take our angers out on other people is pretty well-documented. I like to think that by giving this man a place to sleep for the night, even if it does turn out that he got it by devious means, he’s going to have a better attitude towards the tourists he serves in his restaurant. Those tourists will end up having at least one good moment of their vacation (because the prices they charge at the chain restaurants in Times Square is almost criminal) and will return home well-rested and more able to get on with their daily lives. And so on, and so forth.

I may probably never know why he chose to lie to me, but in the end it’s not important. What is important is that I’d like to think that somewhere, Kelly’s laughing along with me (or at me) about the whole situation, particularly the elaborate nature of the lie.

And that’s enough to keep me doing these good deeds.

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4 Responses to “My good deed for the month”

  1. Karin Says:

    Hi Trisha,
    I feel like my heart is bleeding right now…after hearing the snippets of your interview with coach Hogan…I don’t even know why I had to go get something to eat and drink a venti vanilla this late at night but as I was driving, I heard the interview on the “last word ministry”…and I feel like crying, because I see myself, I was once where you are now. I grew up in a Christian home but when I turned eighteen I completely forgot about God and morality and I lived my life as I saw it fit. I stopped going to church and started dating and the rest is history. I thought about God only when I needed him badly. I turned away from Him completely and I was doing my thing, but all the while he never left me. In my early twenties, I’ve had so many incidents in my life that I don’t even know how I got out of, and somehow was spared from so much harm, but I know that whatever was happening to me, wasn’t just a chain of random events. He came for me to show his love when I had left Him and turned my back to Him, and when He would speak to my heart, I would ignore it and demand explanations to my questions, until when I turned 25 and I just couldn’t fight against this love anymore that He was constantly showing me. I understood that it wasn’t about me or what I had done, it was about who He was, and what He had done for me. I’m so not worthy of His grace even now, but he knows that I’m bound to fall, over and over again, He searches my heart and looks at my intentions and is always accepting me because of the blood he shed for my soul.
    See the thing is that, we’re not just carnal beings, our essence is our soul not our body. Yet, He lived as a man on this earth and was tempted just like we are every day, and I know that He understands me, when I bare my soul to Him, I know that he gets me. I know that there’s nothing that I can do “for” Him, or any good deeds that I can do to get His attention. I just know that He wants to have companionship with me and wants me to trust him like my father that I’ve never seen, and I love Him, I have so much joy and peace, and comfort in His word. The only thing I can do is to help others as much as I possibly can, in every possible sacrificial way I can, because I want to share the Love that I receive from Him. My heart goes out for your friend Kelly, (I can’t imagine losing my friend, soooo sorry for your loss), she sounds like a wonderful person, and I don’t know this, neither does anyone else except for God, but maybe it was time for her to be with her Creator, to be spared from more pain and agony, or heartaches and/or anything else that was going to come her way in this disgusting, evil world and may be she loves it where she is right now. I don’t know these things, but I do know that GOD is LOVE and He is JUST. Even though we have tone of questions and we think that some things are just unfair and we constantly fight against Him, He still wants to restore us, heal us an love us unconditionally, and no matter what we do, He makes the ultimate best decisions as He is the Creator of time and space and universe. There is only the time we’re given to know him while we live, after we cross that line it will be too late to change our minds. I only pray that you will, in your soul searching experiences, just put away all your preconceptions and ideas taught by man about God, and just simply, pick up His word and read it, really read it by yourself. You owe it to yourself to know the real truth, aside from what everybody else tells you, before making a decision for, or against your soul Creator. If you seek Him truly and openly, you will see His heart in every step of the way.
    Yours, truly
    Karin

    • Trisha Lynn Says:

      Karin,

      First off, thanks for your nice thoughts and for sharing your story. I keep saying over and over again that it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in having lost my religious faith and that other people have gone through or are going through exactly what I’m going through.

      I only pray that you will, in your soul searching experiences, just put away all your preconceptions and ideas taught by man about God, and just simply, pick up His word and read it, really read it by yourself.

      The way I’ve come to look at the Bible is that it’s a very interesting book filled with stories about how certain people lived their lives within the framework of a shared religion in a certain point in history. I can find meaning and relevance to my daily life in it, but as you can see from this post, I find meaning and relevance to my life in works of fiction all the time.

  2. darkmark Says:

    I’m with Karin on this and hope you find a way of seeing the faith in a new light. Blessings.

    • Trisha Lynn Says:

      DM,

      Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, but since we’ve known each other for a long time, I had to really think about what you were saying.

      When you say “find a way of seeing the faith in a new light” and after having read this entry, wouldn’t you say that I’ve already started seeing faith in general in a new light? One of the conclusions I’ve come to make is that it’s okay to “settle” for a faith in something that isn’t tied to a specific religion, despite what Coach Hogan had to say in his opening remarks to me that were broadcast on the show. He said several times that he doesn’t know all the answers and if God is unknowable, then any one religion on this Earth can’t really encompass what God and/or its motives are.

      But like I also told Coach Hogan several times and have said as much to others who have commented on this blog, I respect him and his choices in what he chooses to believe in, as long as it doesn’t directly harm me or the people I love.

      Shouldn’t that be enough?

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