This head cold is making me sensitive. Of course, it's easter and I'm not sure it's possible not to feel like laughing and crying when you've got these two big girls hugging each other and wearing matching pink, checkered dresses.
I went to the store to buy easter presents last night and I started to pull out in front of somebody in the parking lot and they beeped at me. There was a big man in the passenger seat, just inches away from me. I rolled down my window and he looked really mad and rolled his down, too.
I didn't care about anything. I felt so empty and nothing towards his angry face peering out of his girlfriend's SUV. She was driving. She had blond hair and was wearing sunglasses. The man stammered over his words.
I said, "I'm sorry."
Maybe I even was sorry. I didn't feel all worked up, like people do when they almost cause a car accident. "Oh yeah, well, watch what you're doing," he spit at me. I felt like he was more mad than that, but he couldn't think of what to say.
"I'm sorry," I said again. Neither one of us drove away for a minute.
"Well, okay," he said, with his big, red face. He was blonde, too. I wondered if they had kids. I couldn't see into their back windows. My girls weren't with me. There were two empty car seats in the back. I wondered, if they had kids, if their family was happy.
All of a sudden, it was like I was wondering about everybody I saw. Mostly, people look so ugly to me and strange, like I couldn't dream of knowing them. I watched a show about people who met in a dance club and went back to a hotel to have sex, and all I could think about was how people's bodies get sweaty and they smell. How people take off their shoes. It all seemed impossibly terrible. Sometimes being in public is like that, for me.
I feel like an invader in a land of insects.
Sometimes I won't remember to feel that way, at first and I'll be thinking about something funny I read and I'll smile to myself. Then I'll look into the face of the person walking past me, and it's like their ugliness bores a hole into my heart. They're so unhappy and radiating meanness, like I've gotten lost in the hills of Appalachia. Like I'm the only real human being, my family and I are beautiful and clean and everyone else is a mutant.
So, after I almost pulled out in front of a car, last night, I saw a Little Person walking from his car to the store, and the crowds of mutants were parting around him, turning their heads to stare at him. A woman elbowed another woman in the ribs to make sure she had seen. He walks around in the world all the time, like this, with everybody boring holes into his heart.
I felt so proud of him. I felt like I might die because the world is so ugly and lonely. I thought about my girls at home, all speckled cheeks and big smiles, fat little arms and they smell like candy all the time. I thought about how happy I am that they're healthy, how they don't have walk around in the world with everybody singling them out and hurting them.
People will hurt them, though, and I will want to die then, too.
I started bawling and I wanted to go back in time a few minutes to when the man in the window was trying to yell at me, but couldn't come up with the words. I wanted to give him another chance. I didn't care about his anger. I wanted to see what he might come up with, if he'd had a moment to think. Maybe he wouldn't have been so upset after a moment, or maybe he would have come up with something disarming. I wondered if maybe they were still talking about me. I wondered when the last time was that I went out into the world alone and accidentally encountered something beautiful.
If I'm not careful, I start to think that everybody hates me, just by taking one look at me. Just like the way everybody loves my daughters, just by looking at them. I hate it and I wish I could disappear.
I've started leaving love letters in library books. I write a quick note about lust and beauty and slip it between the pages of a hardback from the Popular Picks rack. Sometimes I don't know what to do.