PARTING GLANCES: Panic! Panic! As Metaphor


<BY CHARLES ALEXANDER>

Be prepared. What follows will likely upset you. What occurred to me that prompts this metaphoric recounting PG sent me into a total panic when it happened this past Monday. One way or another, I guarantee it will upset you. For several reasons that you are metaphorically part of.

I had just just returned from Chase Bank to my campus art studio. I was depositing a check at the bank for a few art items I had sold months ago.

I had come to the bank after spending an hour or so at the nearby Barnes & Noble Wi-Fi online service. Sitting to my right as I checked my email was a young man, too old to be a student. He was dozing, falling asleep. His cell phone lay directly in from of him, perhaps six or seven inches away.

As I finished checking my email and Facebook pages, it occurred to me it might be well to lightly poke this guy, waking him to tell him that his cell phone was in easy reach of being grabbed while he dozed. He nodded. Grunted. Placed the cell phone in his pocket, and went back to sleep.

I returned to my studio, called my artist friend Jon Strand, chatted for several routine minutes with him, and focused my attention on further detailing an already highly-detailed art piece I was working on. Once in this alpha mode I spent a good hour or so detailing, detailing, detailing.

Suddenly it struck me. Sort of casually at first. Where did I put my laptop and its case? Not expecting anything to be out of the ordinary, I looked in the usual studio spots. I looked and looked and looked. Oh gawd, where is it? Where? Where?

I checked throughout the apartment/studio complex. Downstairs. No! Upstairs. No! In the overnight safety cabinet. No! No! No!

I became beside myself with panic. Panic! Did I leave it at the bank? Did I leave it under the Wi-Fi table? My intense panic screamed birth certificate! Passport! Check books! (Oh no! Oh no!)

My iPad. My art images. My finished PG columns. On and on and on!

It was all I could due to keep my wits -- a semblance of sanity -- and a what, oh what to do focus.

I was all set to run -- Run! Do not walk! -- to the Barnes & Noble and Chase Bank hoping that some honest person would find my internet treasure and life-sustaining items and turn them in. (Please! Please! Let that be true.)

As I opened my front door, I came close to collapsing in relief and -- thankful, thankful -- exuberant joy - I found my computer on the porch bench where I had absentmindedly left it.

I was something of a gladly redeemed, nervous wreck for about an hour. What if? What if? What if? But out of the panic -- and a writer's need to share -- a metaphor series suggests itself. Give it focused, wide awake consideration.

Among my items carried with my computer units were these: birth certificate, passport, checks, personal contacts, freedom-of-speech thoughts, and writings.

And, this metaphor from panic. What if my LGBT birthright is taken from me? What if my international mobility and respect are voided? What if my banking privileges are rebuked or denied? What if my personal information becomes a source for tracking and rounding up our local and national rainbow community?

It's happened once before. It can happen again. Maybe it's not too late. Or, maybe it is.

If I've upset you, let's say, at least you've had advance warning. Do something. Don't panic. Get involved!

Connect with Charles Alexander at Charles@pridesource.com
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