I thought today I would tell you a story.
I was 17, at a deeply dark time in my life, living in a homeless hostel, having messed up my entire life only a few months prior. I was an angry person, humbled and broken by my experiences but did not yet have the maturity to turn that into action to improve my life. I was being regularly tormented by a fellow delinquent living across the hall. This boy will remain nameless, but he was the right hand man, the henchman of my school bully, whose gang had ruined much of my childhood. In this hostel, at the low point of my entire life. This thug lived across the hall from me, in an equally tiny and shitty bedsit. At night I would be woken to howls and screams coming from outside my door. And in the morning I would open it to find it pelted with eggs, flour and whatever else he and his cronies could get their hands on. Notes would be posted underneath my door, and I regularly found condoms wrapped around my door handle, in some childish attempt at a prank. I was left so terrified I would be too scared to leave my room. But I didn’t have my own bathroom, what I had convinced myself was a demon living across the hall and I shared a bathroom, along with most of our floor, which was right next to his room. In one of my nerve wracked trips to this bathroom, I found a watch wrapped around the radiator. A seemingly expensive watch. I wondered if it was fake, I had no way of telling of course. But I was desperate for money and I thought about selling it as I wandered back into my flat. And yet I found myself walking across the hall and knocking on the demons door. He opened, and before he could say anything I asked him if the watch I had found was his.
In a moment his eyes lit up and he burst into a barrage of thanks. He told me how he’d been so upset that he had lost the watch, how it had been a gift from a relative and meant so much to him. And I realised in that moment that this demon, this monster, was in fact human. I handed him the watch and walked back into my room to continue my day.
He never bothered me again.
I sometimes wonder if I am a bad person. That the mistakes I have made undo the good person I try to be. But looking back now. If I, at the lowest point of my entire existence, on the verge of suicide, can be kind to someone I had hated since I was old enough to hate. Then I’d like to think I am indeed, a “good” person.
Peace, Love & Cowbells,