I sat alone in the corner of the coffee shop. I came to the coffee shop to force myself to get out of my room, where all the blackout drapes keep all the light out because I just don’t want to be around anyone. But I knew, from the years of being told by psychiatrists, that I needed to get out more…”Sometimes a simple of change location can alter our thinking.” So, against every fiber of my being, I forced myself to walk the two blocks to the coffee shop, order a coffee, and sit in the farthest corner.
And, for a few minutes, I did feel a bit better. I could breathe without gasping or feeling like I was being buried in concrete. And then…they came in. This group of people, roughly my age, came in all happy and chirpy, bought their froo-froo “coffee” drinks (which are more sugar and cream than anything resembling coffee), and the place they decided to sit (just like when I go to the movies alone and sit in the darkest corner) all around me. I felt like the giant turd in their sparkly happy punch bowl.
I cannot blame them for being happy. People are happy all around every single day. I can fake happy with the best of them. I’ve had a LIFETIME of practice!
I listened to all their shallow banter about celebrities, “reality” shows, who is screwing who and how often and all the various other acts involved. I listened to them bash their friends who weren’t there. I listened to them giggle and plot to give the server hell, because they had specifically selected the section of the server who had been “too slow” the last time they were here. I listened and I felt myself want to crawl inside myself even more.
The server came by, and they carried out their plot to give the poor girl hell, by intentionally spilling their coffee on the floor and on the tables then demanding she clean it up right then and there. Then they began breaking apart their pastries and throwing them at this server every time she turned away. The poor server was in tears when she finally couldn’t take it anymore and left for the kitchen.
I wanted to scream at these hideous wastes of air and pound into them the understanding of how they had degraded the one person who could have, and probably should have, urinated into their coffee and spit on their pastries. The angrier I got, the more I figured it was all my fault for sitting there in the first place, because, after all, I seem to attract the people who are mean spirited and self-centered. Depression…that evil imbalance reminded me, once more, that I attract those who are evil because I deserve nothing less, AND because I attract the evil people the others who suffer at their hands are also my responsibility.
Finally, I gathered every gasp of breath I could, walked to the counter and asked to speak to the server. When she came out, all I could manage was “I’m so sorry” as the tears gushed from my eyes, I gave her my last $50 as my apology, then ran out of the shop back to my safe place. Now I wait for my meds to kick in or for my head to explode, whichever comes first.
I can fake a smile and hide the pain inside. I do it every day. Some days better than others. On the days I’m not so good at the faking it, I realize how people don’t really seem to notice…..or give a shit. So why bother anymore?