Kindness

I guess things really aren’t so bad. Over the past few months I’ve had many ideas and neglected this blog. This past week I was pretty sick, and had days and days of time to post something. I didn’t, obviously, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the “guilt” of feeling obligated to post on the blog because of some kind of audience, but I don’t really have any audience. Sometimes things feel better after you get it out, I feel sort of pent-up, but not in a bad way. My friend recently found a second half, began a relationship, and though I am happy for them, there is that part of me that is sort of disappointed. It wouldn’t have worked anyway, too much difference in age and maturity I think, too little time, since I’m graduating and hopefully moving on, for various reasons. But you know, there’s that other side that won’t be quiet. Maybe there’s time to be friends, maybe we can still be close, maybe not. In the end it’s just a small part of my life that I’ll look back on and maybe consider immature or a little too hopeful when I’m older. Maybe it doesn’t matter. I don’t have bigger problems to focus on, but I do have other things to show me life is good overall.

I had a bloody nose a few months back, randomly, in the middle of class. I had to run to the bathroom and ended up staying there, watching the traffic of boys through the stalls and the doorways, for about 45 minutes. That’s a long one. I used to get these when I was younger but haven’t in a while and it was a bit of a surprise. The biggest surprise, however, was when I was in the bathroom, a kid who I had seen before but never talked to, never even met, came in and said, “Oh, bloody nose?”
“Yea,” I said.
“I used to get those when I was little, did it just start randomly?”
“Yea,” I said, “it was really weird.”
“Yea, they do that sometimes.”
He was nice, and after washing his hands, he went to leave the room, thought better of it, and then looked at me, and this was the surprising part.
“Want some more kleenex?”
I was shocked, I had never met this kid before, we weren’t friends, we didn’t know each other, and he extended his hand in kindness with a bunch of fresh, white, clean toilet paper. I said, “Sure, yea, thanks!” I was still surprised.
He said “you’re welcome,” gave a little smile and then left, on with his day. I’ve seen him in the hallway since and I think he might recognize me. His girlfriend does since we went to elementary- and middle-school together, and she’s about half his height, which is funny to see. But I wonder if he remembers me, and I wonder if he realizes how big of an impact it made on me, his simple act of kindness. I wonder who he is.

I was on Facebook one night a few weeks ago, had recently gotten an account and been figuring out how the community site worked, and I imported my posts from here to there, so my friends would be notified and could read my blog as well. That’s a nice feature, even though I have no idea how successful it is, because it gives me the illusion, if only that, that someone else is reading. I feel like I’m asking for pity, and I’m not, by saying I wish someone read, someone cared. I hate that. But I do wish someone read, and I do wish someone more seemed to know, to care, and I guess that’s what this one is about. I logged in to check my Facebook account and found that I had a message, my first one since registering my account. I didn’t know who could possibly be sending me a message, but I checked and found that it was a girl I had barely known, another almost-stranger from my life, in Colombia. She had decided that, after reading my blog entries, she would send me a letter about myself. She complimented my posts, calling them “awesome,” and my drawings which I had posted on my account as well. She told me that it looked like I was aiming very far and slowly getting there, but most importantly, she told me this: “you seem to base yourself a little too much on your past, and focus a lot on your future. It’s as if the present wasn’t on the top of your
importance-list.” This whole letter stunned me. Again, I had barely any idea who this girl was except her name and what being in her presence was like. I had never talked to her, we didn’t relate in or out of school, nothing. The simple impulse of kindness, of feedback, of praise and critique, of advice, or whatever it was, it was a simple sign of someone who cared. And maybe she didn’t care, she didn’t respond to my reply so maybe it meant nothing, maybe it was just that, an impulsive reaction and then it was over, but the point remains that she reacted and told me. She decided that it was important enough to tell me something like that. I thought about it, but mostly I was shocked, again, that someone I hardly knew would take the time and make the effort to say something worth saying to me. I was blown away.

My ex called me a few weeks ago completely out of the blue. She told me of a conversation she’d had with another ex girlfriend from a few years ago. There had been some ugly fighting and some severe miscommunication that led to the ex in Colombia not wanting to hear from me anymore. That blew my socks off, since I thought we could always be friends, since we seemed those kind of people. This was all about 4-5 months ago, but a few weeks ago, my more recent ex gave me the call telling me they had both talked and discovered that what had supposedly happened hadn’t happened, and that they were not on violently ugly terms, and that the girlfriend from Colombia had forgiven me. She said the ex from Colombia said she’d send me an email about it all, which I later found out she did send but never got to me, and she wanted to make sure I knew. That night I emailed the ex from Colombia, and got a response back the next day. We are still talking now, happily as friends, and things are going very well.

Maybe these things are overblown in my mind. Maybe they aren’t as big a deal as I thought they were. Maybe I’m just going emo. I don’t know… but these things all mean something to me, they were all comfort from unexpected places, they were all glimpses into how amazing and wonderful people and life can be. Simple kindness is the only reason. Why doesn’t it happen so often, why was I surprised that it could happen? Maybe it’s the out-of-the-blueness of the incidents, maybe I just didn’t expect them, but is there some reasoning where we should expect kindness from random people? No… I don’t think that’s fair. I think the main thing is really just that I am so thankful for this year. My life has taught me so much in the 17 and a half years it’s gone through, actually yesterday was my half-birthday… not that I celebrate it or anything. But I guess it’s not my life that’s teaching me, it’s these strangers that pass through it, and some of them stop being strangers, the moment they reach out to shake a hand, to touch, to kiss, to hug, to speak. Maybe I’ll remember them and maybe not. But the message stays, the lesson learned stays, and I guess that’s the worth of it all. I guess right now things are sounding kind of vague, and this is probably more personal of a post than anything else, less specific, just a chance for me to think and write, but it feels good. It’s been a while. Life really isn’t so bad, after all, I guess, as long as you’ve got strangers to pass through it. Smile at them, maybe they’ll smile back.

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3 Responses to “Kindness”

  1. EMO!!!

    đŸ˜‰ Long time no talk, man. I’ll send you an email some time today.

  2. What do you mean, EMO? Yea, I’ve been thinking about that roommating idea a lot recently, we should talk about it.

  3. We should. I didn’t get around to the email. You should come over one weekend so we can talk. I might go see Pan’s Labyrinth this weekend if Bennington still has it. You want to come?

    Our lease is up in August, family’s thinking about moving to another town (still in VT though). But it might be that I go off on my own and stuff. Not sure. Things are sort of crazy right now financially. Our house is costing a fortune to heat this winter and we weren’t expecting that. It was supposed to be more sustainable but the landlord, it turns out, is full of baloney. So I’ve been chipping in a lot more than I was expecting and my reserve fund has been depleted. Argh!

    I’d really like to roommate though. Would you be interested in finding a place not IN manchester (way too expensive) but nearby? Let me know. G2G

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