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Sunday, January 25, 2015

angles are important

I first mention 'angles' in a survey I made right around two years ago. Just a little over halfway down that survey is the question

If you saw someone broken down on the side of the road, would you stop to help?

I'm not going to retell that story, but that is where 'angles' comes from.

One of my angles is a guy named Larry. Some people might have the impression by now that Larry is someone in my family, or maybe a dear friend who goes way back. Larry tweets to me nearly every single day, and I usually know what he is up to on any given day, week, or month.


Angles choose us. Larry showed up on a group tweet convo one week and never left. He chose me and several people in a couple of gangs I'm in to hang out with. At first I wondered who in the world he was, over time I wondered why in the world he chose us, and now I sometimes wonder how in the world we ever got along without this guy.

In a world where we can increasingly grow more alone inside as we get more socially connected, Larry checks in, and I've come to appreciate that he keeps an eye on us, even if most of his tweeting is pure silly. During long, hard weeks where some of us fall out of connection, Larry has been the one group howdying and keeping us checking back in with him. We're still not sure who this guy really is, but he's a joyful splat in our notifications who gives a crap how we're doing. All of us.


I stopped going to church years ago, mostly because my pain levels have been so bad that even heavily medicated I would have to leave early. Then, over time, I became so immuno compromised and then allergic to everything, I couldn't be around groups of people without becoming sick for weeks and even months at a time or sneezing so violently that I'd go into instant throbbing migraines. Church became such a struggle, such a trial, such a challenge, such a place of misery for me, that I finally gave up and started staying home.

Surprisingly, I lost very little contact, because I had very little real contact in the first place. One church I went absent from sent me a form letter encouraging me to contact someone on a list of numbers. Another church I went absent from eventually sent me an invitation to a group party selling something. Since I'm super aspie and don't do phones, no one knew what to do with me. One day a group of ladies showed up at my door with only a few minutes' notice, and I entertained their concern in my pajamas looking for all the world like I rolled a car down a mountainside, and I was so perplexed how to act in that situation- do I make coffee? I could barely walk or sit. I listened to them chat politely until they finally gave up and left me to collapse in relief.


Twitter is very different. Angles are all over twitter. Angles keep their eyes on us, check in with us, see how our days are going, throw funny pictures at us, and basically flit in and out of our lives like they've got invisible capes on. You know they're ordinary people like we are, full of scary surgeries and surrounded by kids and/or pets and eating yummy food, but the really special ones don't require anything back. They just love tweeting at you anyway.


This morning Larry laughed to me in very few words via several tweets that he is at his daughter's house and was stuck with apple cider instead of coffee and had to save the milk for the grandkids, but not to worry because they have coffee at church, and look at the time, whoosh he was off. I can't help thinking how different my own grandfather might have been if he'd had twitter and lots of other people to check in with. I know Scott is a much funner grampa than any I ever had, and more so because twitter and facebook exist. It's more fun to be silly about life when you know other people will smile about it.

Larry is teaching me a LOT about life still being fun as an older person who has seen it all- life, love, loss, more life, more love... Larry has become a special person with me. I have no idea who he is, and no idea why he picks me to talk to, but I appreciate that he does. Larry is my angle lighting up days that other people sometimes don't realize are a lot darker than I let on. I'm still not very good at being an uplifting person, but I have a real person out there modeling it for my own aspirations. My usual response is to fold up and hide in a cave. Larry could be doing that, but he's not. Even when stuff gets scary, his timeline is full of silly tweets to people all over the place.

I wanna be like Larry when I grow up. (I'm actually not that far behind...) I want apple cider first thing in the morning when there is no coffee to be funny.



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