You often hear people saying something along these lines:
Something horrible happened, but we survived. And then something else horrible happened, but it could
have been so much worse. Someone Up Above must be looking after us, because we got through it.
My mother has said it a lot in the past, but she’s not the only one. And every time I think: hang on a minute. If someone has their eye on you, if someone saved you, why did it happen to start with? Why did you need to be saved? If someone’s looking after you, how did something so horrible happen?
About a year ago,* I wrote about local elections, and why I wasn’t going to bother voting. I didn’t think it was a particularly good post myself, but it was good enough for The Guardian to quote it, so more people probably read that post (or that part of that post) than anything else I’ve ever put on the site.
Well, this year, I’m going to vote anyway, even though I have no idea who the candidates are, or what they are standing for. In fact, I’m not really sure why at all, other than a vague feeling that, you know, really, I should make the most of my rights. As I said last year, though, we get the politicians we deserve. I might not have managed to set up the Symbolic Forest Party in the last twelve months, but I’m going to go out and vote for someone today, and then (if they get in) I’m going to see what they do. I’m going to keep an eye on them and see what good (or otherwise) my voting has actually done.
* in fact it was a year ago tomorrow – I used a bad Star Wars related pun in the post title
People kept coming in and alerting the staff, taking one aside for a quiet talk. Not quiet enough not to be overheard, though. “Can’t you call the police or something? Can’t you call 999? She’s obviously disturbed.”
We were in Starbucks on the corner of Jameson St; it has a large outdoor area spreading out into the wide, pedestrian street. Given the April weather, it was empty, aside from one woman with her back to the shop. An empty coffee cup was on the table in front of her, but she never made to lift or touch it. She was slumped forwards, her head hooded and curly dark hair hiding her face. Every so often her shoulders would shake, as if in mighty sobs.
After the third or fourth person came into the cafe, one of the waitresses went outside to talk to her. She bent down to chat to the woman, and I assume the woman replied. Before long, the waitress returned inside.
We left the cafe not long later, and the woman was still there, shaking slightly. I turned as we left, to see her face, but whatever angle as we passed her face was hidden behind her unruly hair. I wondered how long she would be there for, and who, if anyone, would come to scoop her up.