Chapter 1 Strangers
“. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?
“Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón
How many different faces do we see in a day? In a month? In a year? How about in our lifetime? Dozens, hundreds, thousands probably. We see these people, but we never really know them. Is that woman, who you just politely smiled at, dying from cancer? What about that boy who sits beside you in chemistry, does his father beat him? And that girls shoulder you just brushed in the hallway, does she throw up because she thinks she’s too fat? Everybody has a story to tell if we would just listen, but most of us never do. We will never really know anybody if we don’t get to know these ``strangers``. But then again, do we really truly know anybody? I thought I did, but I know now that I did not, and neither did they know me because I wasn’t me, I was the way they wished to see me as. No I don’t know anyone, except for maybe one person, and I haven’t even met this woman face to face. But, the truth is sometimes strangers know us best, because there is no prior judgement attached to us. A stranger was my salvation.
February 17 2012
As I ran off the plane I felt a sort of intense burning in my lungs that comes from more than just exercise. There was a kind of panic that was welling up inside of me and washing over me, it wasn’t just a physical sort of panic but a mental one too. I could feel people’s eyes on me as I ran down the small, cramped up aisle were you could barely even turn around. My brain was a frenzy of screams, and opinions all coming down on me with a force that was making me stumble inwardly, as well as outwardly. But there was one question that was forefront in my confused mind, one that was shouting louder than the others: what have I done.
But then I see her, a plump black lady, with the kindest face I’ve ever seen. And all of a sudden I felt calm again like a wave had just come and smoothed out the sand, the beach that was my thoughts. I had never met her before in my life. But this was the lady I probably owed my sanity to. She was an unending fountain of support, kindness and wisdom. She was endless, boundless, and bottomless. She opens her arms and I go running into them she crushes me against her ample chest and I cry like I have not allowed myself to in so long. It feels amazing. With every tear; each insult, each event, each tragedy that has become my life came pouring out, and I felt like a chalk board being wiped clean. I had never lost my best friend, I was no longer a slut, my brother’s dad wasn’t dead, I wasn’t rich, I never saw my dad….
Everything wiped clean, a fresh start. If only things were that simple. But for tonight they were that simple, tonight with this fountain of everything good human nature had to offer, hugging me close to her. I was unbroken, unharmed; innocent.
My last thought before the world went dark was; I’ve finally come home.