Day 8: That’ll Be the Day

What’s your least favorite day of the week? Mine is Tuesday. Every other day has a certain oomph to it. Tuesday does not. If something is going to go haywire, it’s going to happen on a Tuesday.

Take today. I was running even later than usual for work. I would have been on time, but I had to play fetch with the dogs for a few minutes, and then I fed the birds. Priorities.

I was still feeling pretty good about getting to work at a decent time. As I drove into downtown Cleveland, I noticed the sky getting a little darker. I hadn’t thought it was going to rain, which is why I was wearing a short-sleeve sweater dress and clogs with no tights. I figured I’d have plenty of time to park the car and run into the office before any raindrops fell.

I stopped at a traffic light about a block and a half from my office. The sky turned black, and the biggest bolt of lightning I’ve ever seen shot into the sky. And then, it hailed. In January.

Long story short, I managed to find a small (as in useless) umbrella in the back seat, parked the car and made a beeline for the office. My shoes and the back of my dress were soaked for most of the day. This, friends, is a Tuesday.

Sometimes Tuesday is just plain weird, as I also experienced today. In the afternoon, once the rain had stopped, I decided to eat lunch in my car and listen to the radio. Instead of the usual music or news program, I turned on EWTN, the Catholic radio network. The program on at that time was called “Take Two With Jerry & Debby.” They were talking about research showing that repeated marijuana use can cause mental health issues. I was intrigued because I had just read an article stating the same thing.

Jerry and Debbie had their thoughts on the matter, but they opened it up to callers. As you might expect, some callers had children who started out using marijuana and moved to harder substances, while a few noted that marijuana had been beneficial for their injury-related pain and so they were torn on the issue. Then Jerry and Debbie took a call from a guy named John. Apparently, John used to do some heavy weed-smoking, and he wanted to share his experience and his recovery.

Jerry and Debbie were ecstatic to hear what he had to say. John, who sounded like he hadn’t completely given up the weed, started by saying that he smoked a lot of marijuana years ago, and it led him to do bad things. “I see,” Jerry said. “John, tell us a bit about your experiences.”

“Well,” John said slowly, “I smoked marijuana and I started to get into porn. And that was really bad.”

How good of John to admit this! Jerry and Debby were very compassionate. “John, it is so good that you realized what smoking was doing to you.”

“Yes,” John said. “I would smoke a gigantic bong, and then I would watch all the porn, heterosexual and two women and all the really dark stuff like…” I don’t know if Jerry and Debby had passed out at this point or if their producer took off his headphones and ran away, but there was silence on their end. They just let Jerry keep rambling. I couldn’t take it, so I muted the radio.

After waiting about 8 seconds, I turned the volume back up. Now, Jerry was speaking, very calmly and gently. “John, your story is very important because you’re talking about your experience with marijuana and how you were able to turn away from the evil you encountered. I would have to ask, though, John, if you could choose your words more carefully because we do have young children who sometimes listen to the show.”

Seriously? You’re going to let John keep talking?

“Yes, John,” Debby chimed in, “your story is very important and can help so many people. We just need you to consider your language. Let’s focus on your recovery.”

“Okay, sure,” John said. He took a long pause. “Well, I would smoke these gigantic bongs and that would take me to the dark side. And I was really hooked on all this porn. You know, everything, like –“

I muted the radio again. Please, Jerry and Debbie, for the love all things good and holy, get rid of John!

I gave them a few extra seconds to pull it together. When I turned up the volume again, Debby was now speaking. “Well,” she said calmly, “we are certainly going to pray for John that he finds the right words to share his story so he can help others.” And just like that, they moved onto another caller, but I could imagine Jerry and Debby red-faced, sweat dripping down their necks as they silently cursed their producer for doing such a lousy job of screening callers.

Looks like Jerry and Debby were having a Tuesday as well.

After that, I took myself to church. I stayed several minutes after Mass to drink in the silence. I lit a candle. And I prayed for a speedy recovery for Jerry and Debby.

Tomorrow, thankfully, is another day.

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