This morning I was stomping around the basement, pissed off about our building's resident crazy-ass old lady. I think every community has one. Ours is named Terry. She's a crumbly lady with cat-eye glasses and a sour face. I've never heard her say a single nice thing to anyone. Once she rolled her granny cart up to me and said, "I just saw So-And-So. She's put on a lot of weight. I found this Slim Fast in the trash - I think I'll give it to her." Her primary occupation is sorting the building's paper recycling area in a way that satisfies her OCD - newspapers on the bottom, comics and coupon circulars on the top, magazines in a separate stack. And if there's old mail, she gathers it in a small yellow trash can and takes it home to read. If someone told me she was involved in identity theft, I wouldn't be surprised.
The thing that had pissed me off this morning was that I discovered the bag of junk mail and cereal boxes I had placed in the recycling area last night had been magically deposited in the trash can in the laundry room. It was clearly Terry's organizational work. I've seen her separate out paper she doesn't approve of and throw it away - I've even called her on it. I once made a big show of taking the paper out of the trash and putting it back in the recycling bin.
So I took the passive-aggressive-note route and made her a sign, which said "Terry: junk mail IS recyclable. Please leave it in the blue bins!" As I was putting it on the wall, I saw Mr. Serapio, one of the building's porters, and I blurted out, "I'm so sick of Crazy Terry's freaking bullshit!"
He nodded and calmly replied, "We must pray for her."
I told him, "You're a much nicer person than I am."
He shook his head and pointed a finger upward, and said, "There's only One who is nice."
Someday, I aspire to be like Mr. Serapio. He's incredibly kind, patient to a fault, and he seems genuinely connected to his faith with a sincerity I envy.
Me, I just grumble and talk shit about a pathetic little old lady.
I have a lot to learn.