My mom will always suspect I'm an alcoholic. Best reputation I've ever gotten.
I’m so hardcore I’ll risk using a tampon even when I KNOW I’ll be sleeping for more than eight hours max.
Thug life represent.
I believe underneath it all I must be terrified of people because even twenty minutes after giving the gift I can still feel the anxiety tightening my chest.
My mom gave me a call about an hour and a half ago to ask me a favour in helping her move her kayak off the car and into her living room, because she had hurt the poor contraption and needed to fix it. Obviously I said yes despite wanting to nap instead, because I’m a nice begrudging person. So she came to pick me up.
As we began driving back to her place, we passed by an older lady standing on the corner, looking around, looking lost, looking alone. You know the type. They’re the people everyone stares at and no one approaches, comforting whatever guilt-ridden empathy they may have with, “Someone else will help them…” Because no one wants to bother even saying hi, are you okay, is there someone I can get for you or somewhere I can drive you to at least; everyone’s afraid they’ll spontaneously gain some Atlas sized responsibility. A ridiculous notion, the existence of which doesn’t surprise me in the least given how society works in everything else, but alas Atlas is as real now as he was for the Greeks a long time ago.
Well my mom is a very empathetic person, especially when she thinks there might be mental illness involved (and I think everyone on here understands to differing degrees why that would matter). She kept looking back at the woman and moaning that she felt so sad for her. But my mom kept driving. So I asked her why she kept driving if she thought the woman might be lost. Why didn’t she go back, I asked, and see if we can help her. That’s all the prodding it took from me, really. The bystander effect takes so little to break and yet it so rarely happens.
So we went back to the corner, and my mom got out of the car to talk to the woman and ask. I stayed inside because I, of course, suddenly became anxious when I realised I was no longer in my comfortably routined life; but I was still listening through the open window. It turned out the woman was not lost and in fact lived in the house right on that corner. However, she was on some social assistance program where she gets an allotted amount of money each month, and the fact was that she had run out of both food and money and simply didn’t know what to do. It’s only the middle of the month.
She wasn’t asking for money, I should add. I think merely having someone listen — instead of pass warily by — was something she needed (something no one using tumblr as a personal blog can deny needing). I think she was standing on that corner simply because it was all she could do, and when you’ve completely exhausted all your resources and hopes, then doing whatever’s left is all you can do as you wait to see whether a miracle is going to happen or whether you’re going to die this time. She was definitely lost, that was plain to see.
To cut a long story minutely shorter, I’ll skip the boat and go directly to saying that my mom and I went to the grocery store and bought this woman some food. We bought a cooked chicken, a baguette, some cheese, premade greek salad, a small fruit platter, some chocolate chip cookies, and a tea variety pack. I discovered it’s hard buying groceries for someone when you don’t know their allergies or if they can even cook; so we got her those things, and we got her some flowers too, because we wanted to make it look like a gift—not a handout.
The woman was very appreciative. There was definitely something up with her mental processes, because she shared a lot more than one would if one were saner, and she told us she had been very close to thinking all those dangerous thoughts one thinks when one is bankrupt of hope. I let my mom do all the talking back because I wouldn’t have even gotten out of the car if my mom hadn’t made me carry the flowers. I really, really don’t enjoy social situations where my lack of experience strips me of the safety of being able to accurately predict how my actions will be interpreted. That safety is something on which I rely heavily.
But it’s also something I try to not let hold me back. Like tonight. I don’t know if this makes familiar sense to many, but the kind of “person I am” and the actions I do are chosen based on my beliefs about the world. I choose the kind of person I want to be based off premises, and I place my rationally built belief system above all else. Even anxiety. And one point of my belief system is the choice I made to not be part of the bystander effect no matter how horrible the experience might be for me.
This lady is going to eat tonight and tomorrow because my mom and I made a simple gesture and bought her some food. More importantly, this lady’s probably going to be much less vulnerable to dark thoughts because we made a simple gesture and listened to her with respect, and also showed her a little bit of love by bothering to come back with food (and I honestly think this matters more than the food itself). Emphasis on *simple*, because this certainly isn’t anything to admire. It’s just something we should all be doing.
And I don’t say this because I’m a bleeding heart. I’m not. I barely cared about that woman. I can’t relate emotionally to other people, and I know that’s hard to understand but it’s the truth and I could have slept just fine tonight leaving that woman there without help. Except that that’s not the kind of person I want to be. And fact is, if you look at all the beliefs and behaviours they exhibit and think about the premises off which they base their decisions, most people don’t want to be that kind of person. Most people want to be helpful and caring.
If most people thought actively and logically about every part of themselves and their beliefs (and premises), they’d find themselves in a tornado of hypocrisy. Atlas’ burden is a myth that people use to protect their beliefs while avoiding abiding by them.
Because honestly, I think the most good my mom and I did tonight was talking and listening to that woman. Treating her like a human being when so many others don’t (because of Atlas). And, yeah, maybe I didn’t talk to that woman, but I think my presence was additional comfort. And I would have tried if my mom hadn’t been there to do it better than me.
I dunno. Life can be so grey, without anything to desire yet with so much work to stay in it. For a lot of people I think it’s the little moments of somethingness that get them through it. And it always surprises me how simple those moments are to create for someone.
It’s just a thought. Whether it’s depressing or hopeful I can’t really say.
And also my hangover officially wins today. I surrender. Let the gods pick me up by my toes and tut me into the Sandman’s house of relief; I have been punished enough for one day.
I don’t usually get hangovers but at least now I remember what it feels like when your brain tries to explode outside of your skull (just call me Mojojojo from now on (if anyone recognises that name, good job)).
Although it does help explain why, according to my tumblr, my feet were whispering to me last night. I’m honestly quite confused about that one.
Good night, sun.
My cat has a meow he saves specifically for when he wants me to know he’s whining at me, not just asking.
What a bastard.