Obstinate! Obtuse! Dense! Pig-headed! These words came easily to me as I looked at my father’s bank statement this morning only to find that hours spent on trying to cancel a pre-authorized monthly debit were in vain. I ended my ranting with the words to my husband that I have used so many times before in resolving issues on the telephone, “If we did our jobs that poorly, we would have been fired on the spot!”
I needed something to get me started and was finding it almost impossible to write anything interesting or, at the very least, amusing about the Chinese Zodiac symbol that has been my life’s companion. I didn't even know it was my symbol until the most recent celebration of the Chinese New Year when a search on Google took into account the date and year of my birth and heartlessly spit out the verdict in the words, “You are a pig”. Don’t get me started.
I've had pigs on my mind for a month now, since that lovely revelation. Each time I call to mind these big, oinky mammals, I get a picture in my mind, and it is somewhat disturbing. You know the story about the little piggies going to market? Well, one day, while sitting in the car at a rest stop on the Autostrada somewhere in Italy, waiting for my husband to complete a trip to the mens room, a large red truck drove up and slowly passed through on its way back on to the highway. I don’t think it stopped. As I recall, if it did, it did so for a very brief moment because when my husband returned, it was gone. I thought it very cute at the time, a truck load of big, pink, yes they were pink, pigs. They stood shoulder to shoulder, their enormous heads in a row, a few iron railings holding them in the truck, making them look as if they were standing on a hotel balcony, enjoying a view of the sunset. I was so taken by the sight, one of those that I was sure I had not seen before and probably never would again, at least not in this part of the United States. Naturally, I took a photo.
I know I have that picture somewhere but if there is any area in which I really lack talent, it is in the storage of photos on my computer which in this case, is probably a very merciful thing. After the first blush of enchantment at the sight of the pigs on the balcony, I realized that they were not on a holiday at all, that they were not going to the market to buy goodies, that this was a death trip and these beautiful creations had no idea of where they would soon end up as they innocently stood in place on the truck.
And, I can’t stop thinking about the scene and I can’t help but think about the millions and millions of other innocents and how lives become so easily ended because of perceptions and powers. And I know it isn't going to change and I wish that I could have flattened all of the tires on that red truck on that day in that parking lot and I am ashamed of myself for my love of pork and the smell of bacon and I hope that I am forgiven.