Tuesday, 3 October 2006

ignorance is bliss

The group of girls emanated intimidation. One in particular, stockier than the other two, taller, with the beginnings of a hunch back, sported a huge, spiky jewel clustered ring that would easily have punctured a cheek or torn into a temple. She had girls names tattooed onto her arm. Lovers? Sisters? Children?

For a moment I feared for the safety of my supermarket shopping. Had she decided she wanted it, or the contents of my handbag I would have cowered and handed it over without a thought. This girl was used to getting what she wanted using brute force, and I wasn’t about to try to change that. I zipped up my hand bag, gathered my shopping together and placed it out of harm’s way. My movement alerted her attention. She looked me up and down. I froze back into my place in the queue, pretending I hadn’t seen her, trying to make myself as small and invisible as possible.

The bus arrived. The girls bullied their way through the alighting passengers, each securing an empty street.

The rest of us hung onto framework around the front of the bus, near the driver, apprehensive about moving any further up the bus towards the scary girls. The driver continued to let passengers on despite the obvious bottle neck. Unwittingly, one of these additional passengers, a Chinese lady, tried to take up a seat next to one of the group.

The girl she chose to sit with had been quieter than the others. She was more feminine in appearance and not as grotesque. I was suprised when the girls face contorted as the Lady tried to sit down. Aggressively she said ‘NO’ and refused the seat. The other girls squealed and guffawed at this.

As the journey continued they laughed at the Lady and spat out abuse.

The Lady remained standing. She said nothing and did nothing. She just tried to make herself invisible, showing no emotion, as if she couldn't hear their jibes.

I recalled the ignorant arrogance of my own youth. I remembered the years where my self assurance wavered and the sequence of events that well and truly obliterated my confidence.

I wondered what would obliterate theirs.


iron petal said...

RE: I wondered what would obliterate theirs.....

All ya need is love - that, or national service!

Kay Richardson said...