Random Returning Thought

I’m thinking about an event that I witnessed. Something that I noted, and for some reason I tried to codify as a learning life-event. Perhaps I was wrong in attempting this, because I’m not too sure that I understand it now, even after ten years. At first it was humorous… then it was not.

I was visiting my father-in-law at his home. He lived in a gated senior community that was pretty exclusive, not that his condo was exclusive. His was nice, comfortable, but others were very posh. Anyway, I was leaving so I went to the visitors parking lot, found my car, and got ready to head out.

Then I heard part of a conversation that caught my attention, so I paused while I was looking for the source.
Directly to the side and one lane ahead of me I saw a newer Mercedes sedan with an older gentleman seated at the wheel, and I suspect his wife standing at the passenger door, waiting to get in. The phrase I heard was “Unlock the door!” It was said in such a way that it was not just the first time it was voiced.

I think there are at least three different cycles of communication. The first is a broken record, with the question or demand, simply repeated monotonously, in a perfect circle. Tirelessly, unendingly, round and around. This was not that model.

Then there is the spiral into chaos. Communication that quickly fails into anger, conflict, then mayhem. This was not that model either, fortunately. This was the third model, where communication spirals out of control. It sorta makes a complete circle but it doesn’t quite maintain the same altitude, but then it doesn’t immediately crash dive either. It just spirals down.

I had noticed the conversation on the second or third cycle. The women asks the older gentleman to unlock the door. He responds by pushing a switch, or lever, and a discernible click is heard, but then something goes wrong. Either the electronics are bad, or his finger slips, or possibly he doesn’t fully understand how the door works… Either way, the door immediately locks itself before the woman could pull the handle open.

That was the full cycle. The thing was that the women’s voice only changed a little, almost unnoticeable. It was like she had been through this before. It wasn’t completely cyclical. There was a decaying spiral, but very very slight. And basically she was still standing there with the door locked as before.

“Unlock the Door”, click/click

“Unlock the DOor”, click/click

“Unlock the DOOr”, click/click

“Unlock the DOOR”, click/click

“UNlock the Door”, click/click

“UNLock the Door”, click/click

It was spiraling, but so slowly that I felt embarrassed to stay to the completion. Perhaps she got in… perhaps she walked away, perhaps the battery died, or maybe she pulled a pistol and ended it all. I don’t know, I had to leave.


So what is the life-event here? A Sisyphus moment, entropy in life, senior madness? I dunno.