Hey Guys (all genders included- apologies if this makes some of you uncomfortable- if it does, feel free to tell me in the comments and I’ll make it more gender-neutral).
I’ve got a song you can listen to while you read this- but if you don’t want to, who am I to stop you? Link below:
So I’m writing this now, but I’ll post it when I graduate and leave Newcastle, possibly for good, so this has probably been in my drafts for a while.
Today I sat on a bench in Eldon Square at about 12:00 at night, and I just sat there and watched the world go by.
Before I was put on antidepressants (which a while ago I decided to stop writing about because I thought it was too personal or would turn future employers off me, but hey ho here we are) I thought a telltale sign I was depressed was that I no longer found wonder in the city around me.
I grew up in the countryside so cities were new to me until I went to boarding school. For me, cities were an alien world- but then I grew up, got to go outside at night and saw the lights, and how the world got quiet after dark but its people didn’t. Regardless of cheesiness or weirdness, I found it magical.
When I no longer experienced this I knew something was wrong.
Tonight I sat on that bench, with all of the shops dim, but the street lights still on, and the people wandering around; loud, anonymous, all of them weird in their own special way, and I felt that magic again.
I’m going to share a story with you. It’s not earth-shattering, it won’t change the world or cure cancer, but it made me feel happy.
Lately, with Trump, and brexit and all of the racist, sexist ignorant stuff that seemed to come along with them, I’ve been rather down about the state of the world.
But then, with me on the bench, people ignoring me, and me happily ignoring them, three very large, very loud men walked past.
All women have felt this feeling; the ‘oh shit I’m going to get harassed’ feeling. Then, the biggest one said ‘I want to give her a cuddle’ looking very intently at me. And his friend asked him not to, in case it might scare me. Not only was that decent of his friend, but then his drunk, large friend (now sat next to me) and his other drunk, slightly less large friend asked if I was alright.
I told him that I lived nearby and that this was “my” bench and they all looked relieved and left me to it.
It says something about the world that I panicked upon their approach. But their actions reminded me of something: good people do exist. For no reason other than to be good.
Then another man (much younger and much smaller) also stopped to ask if I was alright. After I assured him I was he gave me a stamp on my hand that said “paid.”
I still don’t know what that stamp paid for. But what a weird random act of kindness. It was so lovely and so strange, I hardly knew what to do with myself.
After he left, I doubted that this city had ever been this still or this lovely. I felt the brilliance of its people, of this place.
Despite the ups and downs, the good and the bad; this city made me feel again.
And that’s good, that’s a good thing.
And that’s all I have to say about it.