The first world is that of my dear friend. She’s a together sort of person with a happy life. One day soon I am sure she will make a lovely wife. She dresses nicely, has never had a complete meltdown nor does she seem to suffer from any sort of mental illness or affliction. She’s kind, funny, caring and considerate. She’s beautiful although she may not always feel it.
The second world belongs to a girl who briefly attended my high school. She was odd back then, moreso than any one else (including me!). She hung out with an older crowd and despite people in my class trying to make friends with her, she ignored everyone. Our teachers tried talking to us and everyone said that they’d tried to be nice to her but she didn’t care. She didn’t care about us, about school, about the teachers or about anything, it seemed. Even the token “bad girls” couldn’t relate to her, or rather she refused to relate to them. She missed a lot of lessons and I guess eventually she got expelled or dropped out.
Years later, I saw her briefly on a bus. She did not look well at all and I doubt she would’ve remembered me, she was barely at school long enough for that and I wasn’t very memorable. She could hardly walk straight and she clung onto a bag of cheap bread like it was the only food she’d had in a long time. Her boyfriend or friend looked equally unwell. They both appeared to be under the influence of something. I’m not judging them, they obviously have their own issues. Somewhere underneath a face covered in sores and greasy-looking hair was the girl who in a sense was one of the biggest rebels in my grade. While we all longed to belong somewhere, she went out of her way to be rude, bizarre and to do things which would have easily embarassed any one of us, but not her.
I am the bridge.
I envied that girl’s ability to not give a shit in high school. By my senior years I didn’t really give a shit either but she was long-gone by then. In my not giving a shit I somehow retained friends and I got good grades. My issues were well-noted within the staff and this excused a lot of my behaviour. If I didn’t go to class, it wasn’t made into a big deal. I was lucky to have the support of many teachers.
I don’t envy that girl anymore. I don’t envy her dirty and ill-fitting clothes or the emptiness in her eyes. I don’t envy how she behaved on the bus or the slur in her voice. I feel sorry for her. We share something. A sadness? A disconnection from the world? An inability to escape the cards we’ve been dealt?
I don’t want to live in the world of my friend either. Well, I don’t want to live in that world as the person I am now. Without my mental illnesses, this sort of world sounds quite nice.
So I am the bridge between these worlds. I am the bridge between many worlds. I am stuck on the bridge in gridlock traffic. I am tempted to jump off the bridge but I am pulled back in too many directions by too many worlds and too many options.