It’s a running joke in my family.
This guy is talking on a pay phone, my parents happen to be walking by, they hear this little piece of the conversation:
“For God’s sake, Sheila, it’s only a knife wound.”
You think, a knife wound, jesus, that’s gotta be a crazy story there.
You think, something big must have happened. Something pretty scary.
But most things aren’t as big and scary as you think they are.
Like, one day, back when I worked at the counseling center, this guy’s in my office, this very large guy, tall, muscular—and a parolee. Our office landed the State's account, so all the area parolees had to come to us for alcohol and drug assessments. Which they had to pay 50 bucks a pop for, and that’s on top of everything else these guys have to do when they make parole—my point is, by the time I saw 'em, these were not happy men.
So Big-Unhappy-Scary-Guy is sitting in my office, sent by State Parole for his alcohol and drug assessment—and I’m like, 5'2", petite, blond hair, glasses—cute as a bug, which, believe me, cuts no ice with Parolee-Guy. But I have paperwork to fill out, so we start; name, date of birth, blahblahblah.
So then I say, because I have to: "What was your charge?", meaning what crime did you commit, or what crime do they say you committed, that you've exchanged X number of years of your life for and that brings you here, where you and I are oh so pleasantly chatting away. And he leans in a little, and I don't mean like he’s embarrassed and wants to whisper it in my ear, this guy could wipe the floor with me, I’m Ms. Pissant-Paperwork-Girl, he’s Big-Unhappy-Scary-Parolee-Guy.
So I say, "What's your charge", and he leans in, and he growls, and he says: "Murder." And I look up from my paperwork, I look him in the eye and I say, "Spell that."
When his daughter had a baby he brought me a picture of her, “Alecia”, cute as she can be.
He was a nice man, we had a good laugh that day.
Most things aren’t as big and scary as you think they are.
I mean for God’s sake, Sheila, it’s only a knife wound.