Monday, 12 May 2014

Lone woman

I listen to the smatterings of a woman next to me, rugged up in layers, one coat on top of another.

She wears large dark sunglasses; a beanie pulled down over her eye brows.

Sometimes she is angry, telling someone they have treated her wrongly.

Other times, she his happy and breaks out in spurts of hysterical laughter.

Her lucid mind takes her back and forth, back and forth.

She pulls out a piece of paper from a trolley which she guards possessively by her side.

She pauses.

There is silence as she observes the blank sheet with complete fascination.

Then she pipes up again. Louder this time. I'm not sure what she saw but it triggered something.

She begins to meticulously tear the paper into small squares, each identical to the next. The same size. The same shape.

She holds the bundle of loose paper bits affectionately in her cupped hands, talking to herself all the while.

She purses her lips and takes a deep inhale before blowing the tiny pieces with a gusto of wind so they fall the ground, slowly drifting until each finds its place.

They lay sprinkled in a patchwork of patterns on the ground before her.

She closes her eyes and makes a wish.

Her face is transformed. The sides of her lips turn up, and her wrinkled brow loosens.

She smiles.

There she stands in the middle of a cafĂ© surrounded by her own confetti. Her own dreams. And frankly, she couldn’t give a damn what those around her think.

People look.

People stare.

She’s different. She’s odd and people don’t understand her.

She doesn’t fit in because she was meant to stand out.

Individuality is a powerful unifier. If we were all the same, this world would be a very mundane place. It’s the ones that are different - the ones that are alternative to the rest - who give the world its sparkle. Yes, let’s celebrate our similarities, but let’s equally rejoice in our differences.

Have you recently had the pleasure of meeting someone a little different? Someone with their own brand of originality? What did they teach you?

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