sundog

February 21, 2009

Fate

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p02

It’s a term I don’t like to use loosely, in fear of tempting fate (pun intended), but I believe that what happened to me yesterday was fate. It was a series of events that led to several things- firstly, it renewed my faith in the kindness of strangers, secondly, I met a boy who I believe will become a close friend of mine, and lastly, it was a defining moment for me in that I recognised that, in adversity, I truly did have the strength to overcome it.

It begins at my old high school, where I was visiting yesterday evening. The sun generally doesn’t go down until about 8pm, so when I left the school at 6, I was sure I’d have ample time to make my way back across the city. My brother had said to call him if I needed a lift, but he was out with his mates and I was eager to prove that, as a semi-independent adult, I was more than capable of handling the public transport system on my own. Or so I thought.
The first major problem was that I’d missed the last bus from the school to the train station. Never mind, I thought, as Cheese offered me a lift to the bus station. I’ll just catch the next one. Except that there wasn’t a next one. After waiting an excessively long time in the increasing darkness and coming to the realisation that I was lost and alone, I flagged down a bus. The driver was on his way home. After hearing my predicament he asked me where I was trying to get to. In my city, all trains lead to Rome, so to speak, so any train I caught would ultimately end up in the city centre. From here, I could find my way home. Even if it did take me all night. He offered to take me, free of charge, halfway to the nearest station, an offer I accepted with gratitude and relief. At least I was going somewhere, albeit to the dodgiest area of the city with the most violent train line. Sitting on that bus I realised how kind people could be. He wasn’t required to take me anywhere, but it was a small act of humanity that saved me a great deal of heartache and restored my faith in humanity. It struck me that, with all the doom and gloom of today’s media and the fear campaign they run, it can be easy to ignore the simple gestures of selflessness in society.
At about halfway, he dropped me off and directed me toward the station. It was about a kilometre’s walk and it was getting dark so I pretty much legged it, heart-in-my-throat, the whole way. I stood behind a tall boy with blue hair as I bought my ticket, and made it onto the train with seconds to spare. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was going in the right direction, I could relax.
One of my favourite things to do on the train is people-watch. It’s difficult on a train line such as the one I was on because outrightly staring at someone usually leads to a stabbing. But I watched the boy with the blue hair. I studied his body language, tried to suss out what music he was listening to, where he was coming from and where he was going. He was good looking, in a sort of derelict way. He had old clothes, which impressed me the way old clothes always do, in that the wearers are usually so comfortable with themselves that they don’t need fashionable clothing to be confident. It’s something I’ve always aspired to.
It sounds creepy now that I say it, but I watched that boy the whole train ride. This is where fate comes in. There are two stops I could get off in order to catch my train home- the city stop, or a smaller stop just before it. I wasn’t sure which one I’d get off at but eventually decided that the smaller stop was the way to go as it would probably be quicker. So as the train slowed, I stood up, and so did the boy with the blue streaks in his hair. I shook my head to myself in disbelief. Surely he couldn’t be catching the same train as me.
So I stood at the platform for a few minutes before another young man approached. “Darling, they’ve cancelled this train tonight, the last one came about an hour ago”. It’s pretty safe to say I was devastated. It sounds like an overreaction now, but at the time I was a long way from home and fighting back tears. “Thanks”, I mumbled, and looked around in despair. “Come on”, the boy with the blue hair said, beckoning me. “We’ll go into the city and catch the train replacement bus”. For a moment I just stared at him in disbelief and, I’m not afraid to say, fear. Did he want to help me, or rape and murder me on the train tracks? I decided the latter was a bit unlikely, so I followed him like a puppy, up and around the overpass. By the time we got to the other side and on the train, I’d established that most of what I’d thought about him was hugely incorrect. He talked about Tafe, anime, trance music and University. Once we’d got into the city we were chatting like great friends.
The transit guard tried to fine me for having an invalid ticket, but I flashed a smile and pulled the “damsel in distress” act so he let me off. The boy had waited for me as I argued with the guard. As we waited for the bus to come, I learned his name was Joel, and he told me there was another bus that went straight past his house that he could have caught. I asked him why he didn’t. “I have to make sure you get to right place” he replied. We stood on the crowded bus and I watched the sun go down behind the buildings of the city. He didn’t talk much. He didn’t smile much. He looked straight ahead as though there was something very interesting about the man’s shoulder in front of him. He was mysterious, but kind. Again I was astounded at how kind people can be. I’m a cynic by inheritance- my Mum thinks everyone is a rapist or a criminal. But Joel’s kindness and selflessness made me want to be a better person.
I finally got home. It was 9pm. It was dark. I was frightened. But I got home. Safe, alive, and I had this warm glowing feeling you get when you’re truly content with something.
I don’t know if the people I met were only nice to me because I was a girl and they had this weird masculine tendency to protect me. I don’t know if they’d have done the same thing for a 30 year old man. But I know that the kindness of strangers is something this world would do well with more of. It certainly changed my day, if not my outlook on life.

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February 9, 2009

Current Affairs

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p02

I went out to dinner on Saturday night, which turned out to be dinner and then wine, some sort of cocktail and me staggering back to the car when Mum finally cut me off. I’m still blaming the wobbling on my heels, rather than my complete inability to refuse drinks when they’re offered to me.

We ended up out at the bar with Ves and a couple of her friends, including these two gay guys and one of their cute brothers. It was a bit amusing really because the age group was about 20-35, except 17 year old me and my 41 year old mother. I could tell she was feeling out of place, and when she told me afterwards how “old” she’d felt, I could relate to how I feel when all of her workmates come out with us and I feel like a pre-pubescent naïve idiot. I’m kind of glad that now she finally knows how it felt for me for so long.

Dave, the gay guy, was telling me how he’d turn straight for Jennifer Lopez. “In fact,” he went on, “If I wasn’t into boys I would totally try to get into your pants”. By this time I was blushing and was very glad it was dark. “You’re gorgeous!” he exclaimed. His brother was absolutely dying of laughter and I wasn’t sure where to look. It made me remember why I love flamboyant gay people so much. To be so comfortable with being so different is something I’ll be eternally jealous of. And it was a massive compliment to receive from him.

When I got home at about midnight the Irishman called. Looking back through my phone log, we chatted for about 40minutes but I can honestly say, with embarrassment, that I can only clearly remember about ten minutes of the conversation. I’m still unsure as to exactly what I said and/or agreed to, so that should make for interesting conversation on our pending date this week. I tried to get out of it by being completely honest and telling him that I was 17 and would never get into any clubs, and making it clear I wasn’t some kind of slut who’d have sex with him if that was what he was looking for. He was still keen, though, saying he’d take me to breakfast and we’d go to the city park etc etc. All of my friends still think he’s a bit of a pedophile, but he’s quite sweet and I guess I’ll just go with the flow for a bit and see where it all ends up. Maybe I’ll live to regret my decision, but I’m young and I’ve got mistakes to make so my friends can feel free to say “I told you so” if it all turns to shit.

I really have to start packing for my flight so I’ll keep this one relatively short. x

February 3, 2009

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p02

My StepDad took me on a two hour drive today in a bid to get up my 25 logbook hours. He complained the whole time. He whinged and whined and told me it was like pulling his eyeballs out with a needle.

When we got home, I laughed. He’d sat in a car, bored out of hs senses, for two hours. He’d done it begrudgingly, but he’d done it. He’d done it for me.

We’re not close, and our conversations usually revolve around “Hey maggot face”, “What’s up dogshit?”, but it’s a relationship I woldn’t change for the world. Short of having my real father, he’s the best thing I could have asked for, and I thought I’d take a moment out to think about just how grateful I am for what he’s given up for me over the years.

x

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