About a month ago I was waiting at a bus stop around 10pm. The street was mostly dark and residential except for a bodega which was bright enough to light up even the sidewalk outside. And in one of the sidewalk squares of light was a woman, face tilted up towards the apartment over the bodega yelling: Alex! And it was Alex I presume, who stuck his head out of the window.
“Let me in!” The woman yelled.
“No. Go home,” Alex said. And he shut the window.
The woman sat down on a stoop and put her face in her hands. People walked in and out of the bodega. Someone joined me at the bus stop. The woman stood up and turned towards the window. Alex! She yelled again. But the window didn’t open.
And then the bus came and picked me up.
I’ve been thinking about that woman because last week there was a great internal battle between the crazy girl and the cool girl inside of me. Crazy girl was upset, and for good reason I think. She wanted to throw things and punch people in the face. Or at least call out of work. Cool girl, however, didn’t want anyone to call her crazy. Cool girl cares what people think.
What happened? Well, cool girl won. And when I told one of my friends about my cool behavior he said, “Wow really? That was so mature of you.” And the cool girl inside me cheered. She cheered! A little bit pompous, if you ask me. And I wondered if there is a reasonable girl? Or if it’s just a series of compromises between cool girl and crazy girl? Where on the spectrum does vulnerability lie? And at what point does courage become idiocy?
The truth is that (figuratively) I have stood out on the sidewalk calling up to a vacant window. And that girl lives inside me still. I am surprised to see she still has a lot of power, ready to charge at any moment. But I’m glad that she’s there. Because it’s crazy girl that felt the urge to walk over to that woman in the lighted sidewalk and put her hands on her cheeks and say, “Hey, it was really dumb, but also really brave of you to come here. Now you have to go home and go to sleep and yeah it will really really suck and tomorrow when you wake up it will suck all over again (plus you might be hungover). But one day it won’t suck anymore.”