I stayed a bit longer than usual at work
today, not because I wanted to, just because I was feeling so rough
that it seemed more effort to get up and cross the road to the tube station
than to stay sitting in my black swivel chair making the same error over and over
I was grumpy with feeling a bit ill, and rushing to the tube station. I thought perhaps some chocolate would help me get home, but the Cadburys machine in the tube station seemed to think it was funny to claim that it had run out of everything except some fruit flavoured obscuro-bar, which looked like chocolate and smelt like chocolate. The charade almost fooled me until I bit into it. There's a reason those were the only ones left.
I wandered to the far end of the platform, looking for a space big enough to contain my weariness, but found instead a homeless man, thin and with a scraggy beard. I didn't make eye contact, so I was somewhat surprised when he walked over to me and offered me a McVities chocolate biscuit from a packet. "Fancy a biscuit?" I refused from politeness the first time, but he persisted and eventually persuaded me. I nearly gave him my chocolate bar in return, but figured that anyone who liked what I'm convinced was celery flavour, was probably not the kind of person to end up homeless. He seemed thorougly nice although a little strange. As the train pulled away from the platform and he waved, I wondered if it was just his friendliness and his naive failure to see the risks of talking to people that made him seem so different to the rest of society.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to see things from a radically different perspective. To be an alien in a confusing world, not inferior or superior, just different, Would people think you were mad? Sometimes I wonder what I would do if I were mad. Do people know when they're mad? A madness that shares McVities chocolate biscuits is a madness we could do with more of.
I know a few people who've been to see councillors. It must be strange talking to a stranger about your deepest feelings. Surely that's what friends should be for, to be unhidden with. There's a lot of expectation in society. A lot of views about the way people should be. Hiding from who you really are is probably the true madness.