I am a bitch.
It’s true. I find myself so quick to judge, so quick to be ugly, so quick to not care…
– Oh, you got a new job? That’s great, really. Oh, it’s your dream job AND the first job you’ve ever applied for. Awesome… for you.
– If that guy doesn’t stop talking so loudly on his phone, I’m going to dunk it in his flamboyant double soy peppermint mocha.
– Girls who put up profile pictures of them posing with their boyfriends after dating for a month have no self-built substance.
See? I told you. Bitch.
And then I was standing at the sink today, washing dishes, and I remembered an interaction. One I had forgotten about. How do I do that? Just forget about such powerful things…
When I lived in Australia, I was invisible. I almost not kidding.
I lived there for six months and a large amount over 99.9% of Australians have no idea I was there.
If you’re one to believe that some higher power puts you through trials to make you stronger, well, this was one of those times for me. Loneliness tightly book-ended by the Pacific Ocean and the [even deeper] sea of Sydney residents.
And after attempt after attempt to make friends, I just stopped caring. I would just start talking to people like they knew who I was, or they should know who I was, or [probably the most popular] I was crazy and likely homeless.
– You should watch your kid, she’s about to run in the street.
– I would live at Hogwarts if I had a choice to live anywhere.
– That dress is adorable!
But no one noticed me. I really might have been invisible.
And the phenomenon that came from this was that people started to just say things to me. I was the American that obviously did not like it here and was leaving soon and didn’t have any friends to tell anything to anyway.
I became an invisible friend… who you couldn’t make eye contact with because then you would be acknowledging you were talking to someone who didn’t really exist… then who’s the crazy one?
– Sometimes I pocket some of the tip jar for myself just because my boss is such a dick.
– I really do love my girlfriend, but sometimes to seal the deal, I have to picture my ex. [i apologize for my younger and/or easily offended readers.]
– You wanna get some dinner?
Okay, that last one was not a secret, just an amazingly blinding invitation from a girl I had met once before. It was a few nights before I left Australia and I was just wandering… wandering around Newtown… an overly hip part of Sydney. I was thinking about going to see my second movie of the day at a pub theater and drinking my fourth beer of the day. [it was around 5:30.]
I ran into Chloe* on the street. She looked very upset. We had met at a party I attended on a whim. I had this round-about connection with a friend from America and well, long story short… I went to a party where I knew almost no one… like an idiot… and met Chloe.
Chloe was 20 and H-I-P. And gorgeous. And had such a great smile. When her tiny, tan, blue-eyed self flashed you a gorgeous smile, you just couldn’t help but hate her a little bit.
– Hey, Chloe.
– Oh, hey……..
– That’s right… sorry.
– No worries. [i was still trying real hard to keep up with the lingo.]
– How are you getting on?
– Eh, I’ve been better. Going back home in a couple days. How ’bout you? You doin’ alright?
– Eh, not really.
– Oh, I’m sorry.
– You wanna get some dinner?
And in my head, I thought, What? YES! A friend?! Why is this just coming right before I leave?! But I said.
– Uhh… Yeah, sure.
Chloe was upset. For sure. She took me to a Greek hole-in-the-wall restaurant and I had to pretend I knew what to order.
We started to eat. Okay, I started to eat. Chloe didn’t eat. She started crying.
– What’s the matter?
– Oh, just everything.
And it really was one of those “just everything” situations.
I had known that she and her boyfriend had broken up… he was the round-about friend that a friend knew… so, I figured that maybe it was about this boy. And, well, it kind of was.
Chloe proceeded to tell me how her and Kyle* were having a rough time. Doing different things. Growing different ways. But they had been together for so long, been each other’s first loves, that it was really hard to face the fact that it maybe wasn’t working. She told me that Kyle decided he wanted to see what else was out there…
– So, we broke up.
– Oh, I’m so sorry, Chloe.
– And then I found out I was pregnant.
My god. What a horrible thing. I can’t even begin to imagine finding out that I was carring a human, a life that was from a man that didn’t want to be with me.
I couldn’t believe she was telling me this. But, then again, I was her invisible dinner companion that would be gone from the country in a few days.
– Kyle wanted me to get an abortion. I wanted that too, actually… I can’t say that it was just him, but he was just so quick to say it.
She told me about how he helped pay for the procedure and how it was the worst thing she’s ever gone through. She was crying. And then she told me about how Kyle stuck around about a week afterwards and now has gone and found himself a new girlfriend… and won’t even return her calls. And she started crying harder.
– It’s just so lonely. Everything just crumbled so fast. And now he won’t even talk to me!
– Oh, Chloe. Have you told anyone about this?
– No. You’re the first. We decided it would be best to not tell anyone.
I couldn’t believe it. Such pain. Such raw sharing. With me… no one. I told her she HAD to tell someone. Talk to someone about this. It’s her life… her pain… she had the right to share it with close, loved ones.
We talked for a lot longer, through a bottle of wine and more cheese. We even laughed a couple times. Chloe flashed that gorgeous smile and I didn’t hate her at all… my heart swelled at her loveliness.
We walked out of the restaurant and hugged before parting ways.
– Good luck getting back to the States.
– Thanks. Hey, good luck with all of this. You’re strong. You’re going to be great.
Walking back to the train station, I started to cry a little bit. And I promised myself that I would NEVER judge a person before knowing their story. I would never be ugly again, cynical… a bitch. I would realize that quote that’s on corkboards around the world…
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato”
I guess I’ve forgotten.
I’m remembering now.
[*Names changed to protect people I don’t keep in contact with and probably have no clue this here blahg exists.]