If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
~Henry David Thoreau.
I had a friend who retired from the Indian Air Force, calling on me earlier today. We were meeting after a long time and I had invited him to have lunch with me, but as you will see later, that was not to be and he left in rather a huff after just a few minutes into his visit.
After I let him in he sat on a sofa that faces one wall in our living room where there is a wooden carved panel mounted on matching a wooden frame. My friend had hardly sat down when he popped out of his seat and rushed to the frame to straighten it, as it was slightly off kilter. To do this, he had to climb on a divan below the work, to do which, he had to remove his shoes. He climbed down, put his shoes back on, and surveyed his handiwork, and not being satisfied, repeated the exercise twice more before it was perfectly aligned. After that, his sight shifted to the other things on that side of the room, and he straightened a wall clock and the shade of a lamp.
I was bemusedly watching all this from another sofa and when he was doing all this. When he returned to his original seat, he said to me that I was sloppy and should ensure that things were properly aligned. I gave him a big grin and said that I am not from a military background and was not particularly fussy about things being slightly off kilter, since I myself was so. He could not or would not accept this at its face value and an argument ensued to the effect that I have let myself go to seed. He went on and on about how widowers tend to become so and what needs to be done to save myself from sure decrepitude.
I had to find a way to put a stop to this amateur psycho analysis and finally told him that the only symmetry that impresses me is the one in the cemetery, where all of us will eventually end up. He took great offense to this and said that since I was not willing to listen to his advise, he would not have lunch with me and departed in a huff.
We certainly march to different drum beats.