Although a lot of people will tell me that I’m good at confrontation, that I get an A* in telling it like it is and a gold medal in speaking my mind, consequences be damned, I don’t really enjoy it. Well, OK, sometimes I enjoy it…if I have the upper hand and have prepared all my lines.
But yesterday on the tube (yes, we’re back in London and have been since the end of June, which is probably why you haven’t heard from me. I’m just too exhausted by being here to blog…) I had a moment with this woman which made me a) want to burst into tears b) wonder at the state of the world and all the anger in it (see I’m so Ubud now) c) want to smack this woman around the head (OK, maybe not so much with the hippy bliss love) d) go straight back to Bali without passing Go or collecting $200.
I’m on the tube. Alula is beside me and we’re talking about something really important. I can’t remember what but probably it was about Moshi Monsters or about Alula’s business plan to start a spa in our house so that she can make people happy while also making herself rich so that she can then ‘buy lots of things to make me happy’ (note to self: not sure this eco Bali teach her the true value of things concept is working on her).
Anyway, suddenly this woman yells, ‘Would you stop doing that?’ startling us both. I realize that as Alula has been talking to me her foot has been absently tapping the woman’s leg.
‘Oh God, was she tapping you with her foot?’ I ask, genuinely feeling bad cos I know how annoying that is.
‘Yes!’ the woman roared at me over Alula’s head.
Alula sat there startled and pale. ‘You know, you could have just asked her nicely to stop it,’ I said.
‘I glared at her three or four times,’ the woman spat at me.
‘She was facing in my direction, not yours. How was she supposed to see you glaring at her?’ I asked, quite nicely, but also feeling the blood beginning to pound through my body and my face getting hotter. ‘You know, you could have just asked her nicely to stop. She wasn’t doing it on purpose.’
The woman turned away in disgust and started muttering under her breath.
‘Do you have something you want to say?’ I asked her, again opting for polite, but verging on getting very, very irritated.
‘If you’re going to be an apologist for her all her life then god help how she’s going to turn out,’ the woman snapped at me in fury.
By this point, my eyes were popping. I glanced around the carriage to see if there was anyone else as gobsmacked as I was by the crazy lunatic woman yelling at me.
No. Everyone was remarkably interested in their Evening Standards. Typical.
‘I’m not apologizing for her.’ Actually I wasn’t. By that point I was wishing I’d egged Alula on to kick her harder. ‘It was an accident. She didn’t mean to kick you. What the hell is your problem lady?’ I hissed.
I grabbed Alula’s hand and we stood up. ‘You,’ I said, holding my head high while also seething, ‘are a CRAZY lady,’ I informed her. ‘And we are getting off. Because you are CRAZY,’ I added for emphasis. Also, by this point I wanted to confirm my prognosis by making her even crazier. I do like to stir sometimes.
And it worked. We stood on the platform as the train doors closed, staring in as she ranted and raved and her eyeballs practically rolled in her head and everyone around her buried their own heads in their papers.
Anyway, it left me shaken, and Alula shocked into trembling silence. And then it just made me want to go straight back to Bali, where they might put a black magic curse on you but where I’ve never seen such dark, negative, angry energy pulsing off a person. It just makes you feel tainted being around that shit. I had to go home and have a bath. Then in a very Bali move instead of seething about it and sending her hate vibes, I started sending the crazy lady positive energy and vibes and compassion instead. Call me Guru Rimpoche from now on people.
She must have had a hard day I tried convincing myself (NOW I really was being an apologist…oh the irony). And the thought that I was taking on her black energy and passing it forward was not what I wanted to do.
But, having said all that, I still wish Lula had kicked her harder. And with a steel-toe capped boot besides.