The Commodus in My Life

8 Mar

Everyone has at least one in their lives. Some have two,  if you’re involved in “the church” you probably know three. Some people don’t call them Commodus, though. Some have different names for this piece of work, but I like to call them Commodus, or Joaquin Phoenix.

Image via Screened.com

If you’ve seen Gladiator you know what I’m talking about, or maybe you don’t and need your memory refreshed. If you haven’t seen the movie let me explain. Everyone knows Russell Crowe played Maximus Decimus Meridius … Mr. Gladiator himself. Joaquin Phoenix plays Commodus, the son of the Roman Emperor.

In one of the big battle scenes all the roman warriors, including Russell Crowe, are sword fighting, shield smacking, hammer punching, and massively defending  multiple blows in the cold and muddy fields. They’re tired, hurting, bloody, and filthy, but victorious.

Enter Commodus. He’s been traveling by carriage, where he’s been chillin’ eating grapes and cheese, as well as drinking wine from golden chalices with his sister. He steps off his cloud smelling fresh, looking like they used Tide on his Roman war attire and searches for his dad — The Emperor.

“Have I missed it? Have I missed the battle?”

“You’ve missed the war.”

This is Commodus and they exist in my life.

While I was working at the school some chick training to be a vice principal came to “assist” me with the annual state exam I help organize for about 3,000 kids. She had a walkie-talkie. At a school people with walkie-talkies feel like they’re “somebody,” you know, having conversations in their secret-undercover codes, which is usually the school’s mascot and some numbers.

Tiger 4 to Tiger 9 there may be a 10-13 in progress. Copy. Do you copy? I copy. Mustang 2, what’s your 20?  I’m code 7.  Copy.

They feel empowered, walking around with that, and apparently so did she. So she comes by telling me she’s here to help, but that she needs to be mobile. She has a walkie, she has to stay mobile. She can’t be in one location. She’s got to be in transit. So she can’t do much assisting, but can she run and get students while she’s in transit? Apparently that was too much transit for her.

So she comes back three days in a row, after being mobile with her walkie-talkie, after I’m done with 3,000 kids and their test files and says I’m here again just checking if you need anything from me … I need nothing from you Commodus, just keep walking Joaquin. She then became vice principal of that very same school. Excellent training, I guess.

Then, I’m at home trying to keep it together, with a three-year old and a seven-month old kid. Playing dinosaurs, building trains stations, playing baseball, playing football, coloring, painting, reading, changing diapers, washing bottles … then it’s lunch. Repeat process until dinner, but add going to market, managing meltdowns on aisle three, cooking, bath time, watching Peep and The Big Wide World, or Go Diego Go, and then engaging in “the battle of bedtime”.

Cue in dad coming late for the fourth night in a row:

“What else needs to be done?”

“Nothing, Joaquin.”

“DOH! … sorry.”

These were the Commodus people in my life. If I was more actively involved at “the church” I’m sure some pius and clueless chick or dude would earn that title, because there’s always one. But my plate was full with two, and I didn’t want to get medieval. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you’re probably a Commodus yourself … you suck. Get a clue.

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One Response to “The Commodus in My Life”

  1. island traveler March 9, 2012 at 3:44 AM #

    I have more than one commodus in my life. They make everyone’s existence so miserable without even trying. It’s a reflection of a dark heart which I can only pray will see light one day. i do believe in the power of goodness though, just like the hero in the gladiator, the day of triumph will come, if not on earth, then in the afterlife. Great post.

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