What was all that about between you and so-and-so? he wondered. ("So-and-so" being a fairly well-known fellow in the field regarding matters mayhem.)
Ancient history, and not worth pursuing, I said. We had a difference of opinion, agreed to disagree, and went our separate ways, no big deal. I dunno what he's got to say about me, but I'm not bad-mouthing him -- he knows what he knows, I know what I know -- such that it is -- and the world is big enough for both of us to stretch out without smacking into each other.
Yes, yes, he understood that, but he had heard the story from someone in the other camp, and I came off as something of a, well -- not to put too fine a point on it -- obnoxious asshole.
That's worth a big grin. I been called worse, and welcome to my world ...
C'mon, you can tell me, he said.
Memory sometimes plays tricks, so I dug through my old emails -- re-read what I said, what so-and-so said, and what some others involved the discussion added, and -- aside from more typos than I remember making -- stand by my part in the debate. Why, I was the soul of reason ... well, okay, sometimes a bit hot-under-the-collar and cutting in my statements, but in retrospect, my position, speech, and action all still seem perfectly valid, vis a vis the substance of my argument.
Of course it would, wouldn't it? We mostly don't like to think of ourselves as obnoxious assholes.
The anger I felt then is long-gone, faded to a head-shake when I think about it these days, and I confess I hadn't thought about it in a while. Another of life's shrugs and "Ah, well, there you go." moments. Move along, not the droids for which I was looking ...
Kind of funny how earnest I was, in retrospect, all righteous and full of sound and fury, stirring the teapot tempest real good.
There's a lesson here, I realized. Life is too short to get all wound around your own axle about little things. I have spent too much time in that arena.
So I told him the story as I saw it, but with the it-really-doesn't-matter-worth-sour-owl-poot caveat. Live and learn.
(No, I'm not going to rehash it here in la blogita. If you know enough to know who so-and-so is in this, I'll be happy to shoot you an my email telling my side of the tale, but otherwise, nah. Part of the lesson I finally got: In holy wars, both sides consider themselves God's chosen, and when the party is over, the Devil collects his share of souls ...)