I often go to Los Gorditos for a veggie tofu burrito with no rice (to minimize carbs) and no sour cream (‘cuz it’s yucky), but with added guacamole (yeah!) on a spinach tortilla. Heaven!
The friendly woman who normally takes my order has my routine memorized. But one evening recently, there was a young man at the counter instead and, as it happened, I had decided to ask for a whole wheat tortilla for a change instead of a spinach tortilla. (The spinach tortilla is yummier but the whole wheat one is a little healthier.)
After placing my order, I sat down at a table and took out my notebook and began to write something while I waited for my dinner. The woman who usually takes my order came in through a side door and we smiled a quick greeting at each other.
A minute or two later, my writing was interrupted by the young man to whom I’d given my order. He’d stepped out from behind the counter to ask, “Excuse me, sir, just making sure – you did ask for a whole wheat tortilla, right?”
I affirmed that I had, he thanked me, and then I found that my train of thought was broken and I could not return to what I’d been writing about. I’d lost the thread.
And then (probably because I was stoned), I realized something else too, which amazed me a little bit. It was not the interruption that had derailed my focus; it was guilt.
What was I feeling guilty about exactly?
Well, obviously the young man had come out to double check my order because the woman had seen the tag, and she knows I always get a spinach tortilla. She’d no doubt seen the order, flagged it, and asked the guy to make sure. And I felt guilty to have caused that brief confusion, guilty that my inconsistent order had caused a moment of uncertainty, perhaps even some small stress, behind the counter.
And that little dash of barely conscious guilt was obstructing my ability to write.
My next thought was, Wow! How wondrous and inexplicable are the things that make people do what they do. I figured, if a barely conscious thought like that, so trivial and random, could impact my ability to write, then what other sorts of involuntary, unconscious forces dictate what people can or can’t do … and what they might feel driven or compelled to do?
As for me, had I not been high on pot, I’d likely have felt the guilt and been influenced by the guilt but I would not have actually seen it in myself, let alone have had the wherewithal or inner spaciousness to question it.
So perhaps I should never blame anyone for anything at all because we’re all constantly being moved by unconscious forces, far more than we can even begin to realize.