Tis Pity

May 3, 2010

There’s this woman making me cry. I am very prone to crying at certain times. When hungover, for example, I cry at car insurance adverts. Anything in print/on telly about the history of Manchester City can have me blubbing fat tears of nostalgia. People with unhappy or vulnerable faces can choke me up; if I perceive sadness etched on their visage like a Maori tattoo. Fat children. Fat kids get me going every time. Very fat kids that look sad will get my mind inventing whole elaborate scenes of misery with them at the centre. I imagine the bullying they’re victim of. The long nights alone in their room while all the thin kids go to discos and kiss. I want to scoop him or her up and be there friend. I’ll be your friend. Don’t worry about a thing. Let’s go to KFC. I once worked in a prison as a temp. There was a woman that worked opposite me who was the size of a transit van. She was single, middle aged and didn’t seem to have many friends. I used to look at her sometimes and imagine her Christmases. Her sat on a sofa eating a selection box with the pathetic blink of fairy lights reflecting off her damp cheeks. A single Christmas card hung on the wall which her local takeaway sent her. I could barely get anything done through the blur of tears.

So there’s this woman. She sells the big issue outside the West Yorkshire Playhouse. She sits and very meekly plies her trade. She wears glasses that make her eyes the size of dartboards and wears the same colourful headscarf every day. She looks like a massive homeless cartoon mouse and everytime I see her I want to fall on my knees weeping. “Take it all take everything I have, here’s my address, live there please, what went wrong? What happened to you?” I empty my pockets of all bank cards, I write my pin number on her hand, I start giving her my shoes. She stops me with a withered hand and stares at me with her eyes like faces. “Big Issue?” she asks.

I have come to the conclusion that this dispensation to weep makes me a knob. Who am I to assume that these people are unhappy? Mouse woman might be perfectly content and have an amazing life full of nourishment, friendship and good hard sex. Pity when you get down to it is a pretty cruel emotion. I am going to give it up. Maybe then I will actually buy a Big Issue off her instead of just crying in her general direction. I am going to have to stop writing. A fat kid has just come into Caffe Nero. I stare at him intently as my cappuccino fills with tears. Here little boy, have my loyalty card, it has six stamps already. Saves you money. Would you like some money?

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