Do you want to come over? I live really close by this bus route, so after we chilled for a bit you could get back on the same route and go home a little later. Or you could never go home, if that’s why you’re drawing all over yourself with knives. I bet you have a place to go even if you don't know it. I bet I know of a place where you can stay if you really have nowhere to go. Or maybe home isn't the problem, and you can just head back, and everything will be a little better. I'll never know until I ask.
We can do anything you want! Anything, seriously! I've learned not to judge. You could almost say I took a course in understanding that pain is not something anyone should be ashamed of, but I don't think any school could possibly offer that with any real amount of heart. We could watch Roman Holiday and eat grilled cheese sandwiches, which always makes me feel like tomorrow will be a little better. Or maybe you find Audrey Hepburn annoying instead of charming, and maybe you're lactose intolerant. It doesn't really matter to me, because we could just sit on my couch and swap stories and drink tea (without milk?) My couch is really comfortable! Seriously. I read the Ikea catalogue and it says that they designed it keeping in mind that people like to sit on the arms and may sleep on it, so really, you could sit however you wanted. We could have a beer together! The liquor store is right up the street and we could walk together in the cold night air and each grab our favourite tall boy and vent as we cracked the tops off, spilling foam all over our knuckles. If you wanted to smoke a joint, you could do it on our deck. Our landlord doesn't like that, but if he saw, I'd explain to him and he would understand. I know it doesn't seem that way sometimes, but people usually do. Actually. Really. I promise. People usually understand.
That's not to say that people pretend that they understand. Understanding is scary, because it means you have told someone something that is so deep and dark and meaningful that you are searching for a hint of relatability in their eyes. People are not always ready to admit that they can connect with something like that. Sometimes they are mean, and sometimes they are kind. The worst is when they pretend to be apathetic and unmoved, but between you and I, I know they are aching inside. See? I have secrets to tell too. So how about that beer on my versatile seating coach?
Maybe you've tried to talk to a professional before, and maybe you haven't because you're scared that they will be that apathetic person. Maybe they gave you drugs. Maybe they gave you drugs for those drugs. Maybe the symptoms seemed worse than the disease, and maybe you couldn't afford even one pill. Isn't it sad that in such a great country so many people have a hard time waking up and facing the day? Isn't it confusing that the lack of a pharmacare program in Canada means that so many of the most intelligent people in the country simply cannot contribute to the society, to the economy, to the community, in the way that they would like? I hope I am not being too political, but some day when you have a little less on your plate (and I promise that day will come!) you should probably remember how you feel today, and write a letter to make something happen.
Because something has to happen.
Because you're on this bus with lacerations all over your wrist.
I get it. I really get it. And if I don't get it, someone else does, and I still care. I've been there too. I mean, maybe not there. Or maybe our heres and our theres are different. But I've been there! Everyone's been there at least once. My there happened when my brain started screaming at me so loud it might drip out of my ear and into a puddle on the floor. I was so preoccupied with some stresser that I cannot remember now. I remember feeling like I might die, or that I was already not living. There was no way a brain could beat so hard against my skull and I would just... survive? Of course, I did. I'm here, sitting across the aisle from you, so I did. There was also the time I thought that every spoonful of food I put into my body would make me blow up into a balloon and no one would ever love me because of it. My body did not feel like mine. My mind felt like an echo in an ugly old house. In myself, I had never felt so alone.
People do care. People care so much they light up the sky with millions of candles all over the planet just so the people who took themselves away from us can see how beautiful they really were down here. People care in a way they can never put into words, even if they really, really try. People care so much that they notice when a graceful girl with beautiful shiny hair slinks onto the bus with wounds all over her wrist, even if she tries to cover it up with bracelets and wristbands. If you don't really want to have a beer with me, maybe you're more of a martini person. I can mix a mean one! I even have this special shaker! I got it at a nice home decor store because I really do believe my life will involve throwing fabulous dinner parties. Isn't that a silly wish for a twenty one year old? So let me play hostess. Oh, and we can sit on my kitchen floor if you're so inclined. I have half of a baguette. It's a little hard, but it's still tasty. So why don't you come home with me?
I'm rambling because I'm trying to be casual. I'm hoping this is a meaningful conversation, not an embarrasing penalty. I hope you think I'm funny, or a little kooky, or anything but creepy. I hope you will come with me. Of course, this is all in my head. I can't say a single thing. I'm overanalysing this situation across from you, and you will never know I exist. I can't tell you what I'm thinking, because then I'm scary or weird. You might roll your eyes. You might tell the bus driver to kick me off. You might text your friends. Omg! What a random weirdo. Whatever. Awwwkwarrrd.
What's so creepy about trying to save someone's life?
I wish that there was an easy way to tell you how much the idea of someone who has to hurt themselves to feel something means to me. I have fallen in love with your spirit, because I am human, and you are human, and I feel your pain. I can't say a word, so I write many here. Maybe you'll see this some day and know. Maybe one of your friends will post this on some social media website you check, and you will remember a fidgetty redhead who's always staring at you. Or maybe you'll never know. Ever. Which is a shame, because I know so much and so little about you. I hope you are okay. I hope I see you again and your wounds have healed. I hope I see you again and your spirit has mended a little too. Even if we never know each other, maybe we have created a bond. Me writing this. You maybe reading this. We are connecting. For minutes we are both less alone. We are creating something beautiful with our minds, and we are for one minute taking some of the complication out of this scary modern world. We are changing each other's lives.
So... how about that beer?
Inspired by Luke, my immensely loved boyfriend, who notices lacerations on wrists.