When you’re stuck in a lift with a woman that is 4’11, you do not react when she tells you she’s an ex-con.
Having said this, I reacted. I gave a hesitant smile followed by a bleak nod and then perched on the floor, next to the emergency exit button, and started to eat my fruit and fibre Belvita breakfast bar that I should’ve eaten on the train.A few moments later, in an attempt to redeem myself, I told her I was going to try and use the lift’s phone to ring reception. She smiled and awkwardly nodded.
We ended up chatting until we heard a slightly inept fire fighter yelling at us to ‘move out of the way’ before he started to wedge the doors open – and just like that, my excitement for the day was over.
By the time I was waiting for my train home, I was still thinking about my conversation with Sally, * the ex-con. She spoke a lot about societies obsession with presenting rose tinted versions of ourselves and the importance of breaking out of this façade.
But I thought reaching a stage in life where you don’t give a shit anymore was just a preverbal myth? Especially, when we live in a society that has an obsession with keeping up with appearances and, as a result, we spend most of our time hyping ourselves from turds into shiny turds. But is our façade most prevalent when there are at least 6(0)-7(0) witnesses present?
So, where do I go to sell my soul to ensure the ultimate glow-up – does Satan take student debit cards?
As a society, are we looking for happiness or validation or has social media blurred the line between the two so much that we’re struggling to see the difference?I’m assuming the pained husband looks and daily animosity towards the momentous and mildly inconvenient first world problems are tactfully brushed aside when meeting someone new. They probably don’t make it on to social media either – unless you’re sending a strongly worded tweet to get a refund.
But what about when we find ourselves in a weird social limbo like on a train station or the entirety of London. It’s like, we’re surrounded by people, but nobody is really paying attention to one another. We’re all just vacant zombies guarding our overpriced coffees and phones in corporate clothing.
Are we still keeping up appearances?
The rain was relentless; as if it was personally targeting anyone keen enough to wait on the yellow line. Once the train arrived, the clockwork began: the soft, cacophonic mutterings exchanged amongst strangers as they tried to shake the corporate world off of themselves, in urgent preparation to personify the other titles they’ve earned in life. The stiff-upper lip accompanied with a dreary grunt that often substitutes for words when asking if a seat is free. The students hunched over their (law) books with their phones in one hand and hints of naivety (that anything is actually going to go in amidst the chaos) in the other.
But would my description be the same if everyone on the train station was told they are going to be filmed and live streamed. Despite a possible lawsuit and the most dedicated turds still telling me to f*ck off, I think everyone else would take a moment to transform themselves from turds to a shiny one.
In the hope that their façade doesn’t break.
I’m calling this small playlist ‘damn girl – who hurt you’
- Noah Kahan – False Confidence
2. Why Do you Love me – Charlotte Lawrence
3. Heaven – FINNEAS
4. Nice to Meet ya = Niall Horan