Not sure why this memory popped into my head on my commute to work but it did and I had to share it.
I had to go home March last year; I’d received a message from my brother saying that my Father was seriously sick and not likely to make it through. He died, Melanoma, which is an aggressive skin cancer took him.
We had to wait 3 weeks until the funeral took place. It would have been longer if we waited for a Catholic priest (seriously there is a need for Catholic priests in the town I was born. If you can do without booze (well kinda) and sex (well kinda) and are all about doing good for the people so don’t mind living in a shit hole, this could be your calling!!).
Anyways, one morning I went to my Father’s flat and decided to walk back to my lovely nieces via the route I used to walk to my Mother’s for our weekend visit. It was weird AF and a mad emotional roller coaster.
To deal with the emotional roller coaster, I did what any responsible adult would and went the pub to drink through it.
I went to the delighful local, a good old Wetherspoons. This just has to be the best people watching spot ever. You could literally stop here all day, watching. I couldn’t not laugh when I first went the bar and the server said that I speak v quiet!! No mate, that’s just a normal volume.
2 (large) glasses of wine in an old bloke sat at the table opposite me. He kept looking at me so I did my best to ignore him, staring gormlessly at the Daily Mail on my phone but he would not stop looking. So against the wishes of the judgy bitch inside me who was screaming to not make eye contact, I did just that.
“Hi do you mind if I join you?” (Judgy bitch was having a head fit “don’t you fuckin dare. Neck your wine and get out right now. DO NOT TALK TO HIM”).
He was the loveliest man, a grafter and a gentleman. We talked forever and drank some more and listened to each other. Ned lived with his son who was a worrier and a cynic. Ned enjoyed a good laugh and like me, believed in the power of positivity.
The more I drank, the more difficult it was to keep a grip of my emotions. We chatted about people’s expectations of us and how it can cause pressure and misery. Ned told me that we give far to much credit to other people’s opinions and I agreed.
Ned helped me through that day, I don’t doubt that he took one look at me, and knew I needed someone to download on. An to think, if I would have listened to my inner judgy bitch, I would have missed out on an awesome interaction with a total stranger.
Thanks Ned x
So next time a total stranger tries to talk to you, don’t ignore them (unless you’re on a plane, on a run, if they look dodgy, if you’re reading a book, if they ask about your religious orientation or randoms trying to sign you up for charities on the street), you just never know, you might not know it but you might need them.