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Saturday, October 07, 2006

the milk's gone bad

Sometimes I wish I could close my eyes.

Unfortunately my green, gold eyes pop out of my head, pupils so large they fill my eye sockets.

Every time I step out of the house I'm exposed to life: to people pushing past the woman in her wheelchair; to mothers swearing under their breath; to the eyes of the homeless guy on Yonge Street gone insane as he crumbles donuts into the trash; to the desperation of the teenage girl on the subway, dressed in a low cut top and heavy make-up; and the resentment in the old man's wrinkles at the coffee shop, his face a permanent scowl.

I play the ignorant and pass people in distress daily: hungry, poor; lonely. I run to class, run to work, and do what I need to do.

All the while these images stay locked in my head. Standing in the front of a classy restaurant in a bourgeoise area, I smile and seat people, aware of the other half of this city that will struggle to eat properly tonight.

In a recent essay I stated that you couldn't put all your trust in society. I felt cold and cruel, but couldn't feel any other way.

I rebuked an argument that said humans were all "rational agents", saying that if we were all rational agents there would be no hard news stories. There would be no murder, rape, robbery or war.

A lot of things go sour in society.

The other day a milkman walked into an Amish school to rape and murder 10 little girls. A young man walked into a Montreal college on a killing spree. Blood stained the walls on the 19th floor of the Delta Chelsea hotel, 5 minutes from my school.

What do you do when you can't trust the milkman?

Let's just say that I wake up three times during the night, every night. That I like my coffee black. That I get sick to my stomach easily. That I choke out tears without knowing where they're coming from. It's the effect of everything going on inside of me, and everything going on around me.

Sometimes it's something as simple as someone bumping into me without saying sorry.

I'll sleep when this anxiety in me dies down. But for now, my eyes are open.


Blogger Wenda said...

I want to say brilliant writing and I think this is, but I'm as impressed by your observations, insights and self-revelations as I am by your writing, so "brilliant writing" alone wouldn't be enough for your words to move me the way they do, and "Brilliant writing, Gill" wouldn't be enough for me to say.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

And a comment like this can put all my faith back in people. Thank you, really, it means more than you know.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the vulnerability in your writing-- the wisdom you have at your aged is beautiful-- you are quite inspiring...


7:23 PM  

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