When You Think The Whole World Is Evil

When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I was suicidal.

Looking back, it hardly makes sense to me now, but it was so real back then.

I just didn’t get the point of carrying on. People were evil. People were selfish. Even love didn’t matter… men wanted anyone beautiful and you could trust no one. Maybe women were evil too, but I wasn’t worried about that because I was a straight woman–destined to pine after some jackass guy who would probably plough any pretty woman he saw, if given half a chance

I would be crushed. It was inevitable.

I was alone.

I tortured men who loved me before they could torture me.

My desire to stay alive must be purely instinct, I thought… something that made animals carry on their genes, because what was the point? Why struggle though one uncomfortable moment to another, getting shitty jobs that barely paid the rent so we could… what? Drive fancy cars to feel superior? Make friendships that would never last?

Only cowardice prevented me from ending it all.

Until one night, when I was twenty-one. You wouldn’t think I was the type to want to end it… I was young, in college, reasonably attractive and probably had more going for me than many others did, except I felt unaccepted and locked into an increasingly ugly world where no one really cared about anyone else.

Anytime I tried to talk to anyone about it, they’d roll their eyes and tell me to grow up. I’d taken to expressing my anger by breaking cups and slicing my wrists. The blood would calm me, since I didn’t know a better way, a way that made sense. The satisfaction of watching consequences happen made me feel better.

I just needed to dig a little deeper to slip into deep oblivion and end the pain of living in a horrible world where no one really cared about anyone else and we only existed because of an evolutionary accident.

Except I was afraid.

I hated pain.

I hated that the fear of pain kept me from ending this pointless suffering. I wished I was a naive idiot that didn’t understand what a shitty place the world really was. And if I had to be enlightened, I hated having misgivings.

I knew what I had to do: drink enough booze to work up the numbness and courage to not care anymore about this selfish world where we crucified every last piece of each other’s humanity.

Which meant going somewhere to find it. I got into my car and drove around the quiet blackness of Los Angeles at 3 in the morning.

I listened to The Wallflowers on the radio: C’mon try a little…

I ended up in some no-name mini-mart in some random part of Los Angeles in the quiet night. I grabbed a 12-year-old Scotch, believing it would be the last thing I would ever buy before I checked out of the nightmare. I waited in line.

I waited as a tiny old man from New York dealt with a tall black man who was mentally-challenged.

The very-tall, mentally-challenged black man was trying to count out the money he needed to buy what he wanted to buy. He was flustered, clearly embarrassed about how long it was taking him to work out the money he owed.

The little old man with a heavy New York accent put his hand on the other man’s hand. He looked him in the eyes and spoke softly…

You just take your time. We have all the time in the world. 

He squeezed his hand and the man relaxed and smiled. He began counting with more confidence.

And I quietly backed away. I put the 12-year-old whiskey back on the shelf where I found it, stepped out of the store, got back into my car, and drove home to sleep my nightmares away.

I don’t know if the New York grocer thought I’d grown impatient with how long his transaction was taking, but my transaction was one that never needed to happen.

He was kind. An anonymous kindness in a tiny store in the middle of the night where no one could see it. A tiny moment of humanity with no one watching and nothing to gain.

Except it meant the world to me.

It made me believe there was something worth fighting for.

That people are kind, even when no one is watching, and that we aren’t really alone.

You just take your time. We have all the time in the world.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “When You Think The Whole World Is Evil

  1. Very well written. Thank you! I think many people to be honest ARE evil. I think people love to hurt others, betray, lie, cheat, and mostly just crush. But there are good people. And we must believe that or we lose total hope. I am not as I was, I don’t think the world is all evil but I do think it has a lot of evil people in it so I try to be careful and protective and I find it hard to trust but I also have some hope. I appreciate what you wrote here. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much–sharing that deep can be scary, but I was remembering the hope that private moment once instilled in me and hoping someone else could feel a little better too.

      There is definitely much evil in the world and people who do evil things. Some are hurt, lashing out, and others… maybe others are just too self-centered to appreciate the damage they do. I don’t know.

      But there is also lots of good. Kindness. Moments we support each other. It’s hard to know who to trust and can be even harder to not get swallowed up by the fear.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, it is very scary and that is why you are very brave and I admire you. I also think it DOES make a difference to share those things. I admire anyone who does. There is a lot of pain in the world but people like you make it better REMEMBER that. You can be the change and it will take effect and I for one support you in your walk. xo (thank you)

        Like

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