Have you ever had one of those moments where you think ‘oh, that’s a bit sad’ and it makes you feel miserable for the rest of the day?
I’m not talking about the kind of sadness that’s evoked by those adverts on TV where poor little Timmy’s walked into his dads fist, and they pretty much just try and make you cry so you’ll part with your money (fuck you Timmy, the RSPCA gets my money). I’m talking about the kind of sadness that just makes you feel a little bit shitty because you become aware that your problems are nothing compared to others.
I was a work a couple of weeks ago and I was messing around trying to balance about 50 Lucozade bottles in my arms – I failed – and this short (not being mean) plump, woman came in looking very shaken up, staring at the ground. In a very quiet voice she told me to call the police. She wasn’t wearing any shoes. I shot up, sending Lucozade bottles in every direction, thinking that she had been attacked and was in trouble. She then told me that she had just run away from a nearby mental institution and hadn’t bought shoes with her. She wanted a ride back to the Hospital from the police.
Of course, I obliged, I phoned the police and explained the situation and they assured me they’d send someone out very soon. In the meantime I was stuck with her very low rambling. She was talking to me at some kind of frequency that dogs might struggle with but I continued to try and help her and do my work. She stood over the counter from me and told me repeatedly that she wasn’t “loopy”, she was just depressed after her fiancé died. My heart sank when she said that. Who can stand the thought of losing a loved one like that? I certainly can’t. I looked over at her, she was making eye contact with her shoes and mumbling again. I didn’t know what to do or say so I just stayed still. I noticed a little ring on one of her fingers too. It’s one of those ones they have that say “mum” across the top. And there it was, that ‘oh fuck that’s sad’ moment. So that was it, I was destined to feel bad for this poor broken down woman the rest of the day. Come to think of it I still feel bad for her now.
I of course struck her with a 2 liter bottle of Coke and proceeded to steal the ring. It was shiny after all.