I came face to face with my goblin the other day. Well, one of them. She wasn’t looking her best. The powerful, woman who usually has her shit together was dishevelled and struggling.
What bothers me is that she has so much power and influence over my life and others. The decisions she makes can be live changing, life saving or life ending. She has the future of thousands in her hands on a daily basis and yet there she stood, her ponytail falling out, bits of hair pointing in various directions, wearing a jacket that smelled like baby sick and struggling to get a baby’s pram through a door.
If I had been a saint, I might have helped her. I would have held the door open, made a kind comment or a joke and given her a warm smile. I ain’t no saint and I never will be. It wasn’t what came naturally at the time.
If I was a demon, I might have pretended to open the door and then let it swing shut in her face. In retrospect, part of me wishes I had. It’s no more than she deserves. But I ain’t no demon, and I never will be. That too wasn’t what came naturally at the time.
What I did was look at her and see the human being in front of me. The one who farts, shits and feels powerless. The one whose breasts leak at inappropriate times and the one who needs help sometimes.
And then I said, “hmm” and walked away. I felt no pity. I felt no urge to help. I did feel hate but to be honest, I was on a day out with my family and I wanted to visit the toilet then get back to them and thrash them at the arcade. I left her to fix her own mess like she left me to fix my own mess. But the difference between me and her is, she created mine and it stays with me day after day after day. I don’t know if it will ever be cleaned up. But her mess is a fleeting moment that is just one of those things that happens to new mothers. And some kind soul will step in and help her. Even if nobody does, she’ll fix it in a matter of seconds.
Still, I take some comfort in knowing I wasn’t a demon, or a saint. I fell somewhere in between.