55. In the dark undergrowth

One thing that Benny didn’t mention about our older family member was that he was also fond of telling a joke or two, usually what might have been called ‘dad’ jokes, only of course these were uncle jokes. One that comes to mind, and that will be seen as relevant after certain notions have been teased out, concerned a leaky roof, with the thrust of the humour being that the person who lived under that roof didn’t fix it when it was leaking because then it would be raining outside, but also didn’t think to repair it in dry weather because it wasn’t leaking then.

The leaky-roof joke came back to me (but not really to Benny out there) one afternoon, no doubt prompted by a similar conceptual twist that grew in Benny’s thoughts. In the instance at hand it was the flash of white anger that had him clutching at his car’s steering wheel after another driver cut him off.

After calming down, it occurred to Benny that a while ago he had come to a conclusion about the uselessness of getting riled up or letting anything really get under his skin — especially when nothing could be done to change the outcome that he was left with — and he was reminded about the promise he’d made to himself that he would try to not go there. And it was at this juncture, for me at least, that a connection to the leaky roof twist could be dimly made out — that the problem was only discernable as a problem when it came into view… but when not out there or present in the here and now, simply didn’t seem to be a problem anymore.

And it was this hidden-in-the-bushes state that allowed it to remain undealt with.

It’s like that scenario that was mentioned not too far back, about learning all about a new device or appliance — instructions are okay, but the real lessons only sink in once you start hitting some buttons.

In this case, it seemed Benny could learn a lot from pushing his own buttons (even in an imaginary or analytical way), and try to ignite that useless anger in order to be able to deal with it, or at least to track its presence in the dark undergrowth.

With some honest examination, it would also become obvious that there was more than just anger to be dragged out and dealt with. There were elements within that if not recognised and shown in the clear light of day could ride under the surface interminably. It was a challenge for him, but I will certainly help, and I’m sure any effort made will prove to be a relief.

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