So there’s this old lady who lives somewhere in my town and she can be seen wandering around everyday always in different places. She has some kind of mental illness. She keeps flailing her arms around randomly and shouting out loud incomprehensible words, but sometimes I can get a few real words from her and they’re not any kind… Like “I’m gonna get a knife! I will stab you! I will stab everyone! I’m gonna get a knife!” and also some swearings.
Everyone points at her, make fun of her, scream back to her and laughs at her. Kids, teens and even supposedly serious adults. My parents always told me to never do this because she’s not crazy by choice, it’s just an illness and I should respect her just like I respect everyone. Even tho I was kinda afraid of her because of all the swearings and threats.
Then one day I was wearing my friend’s Pokemon shirt and cap to go to college and I was walking to the bus stop and when I was crossing the bridge, I met her in the middle of it. We were alone in the bridge. She stopped walking and kept staring at me while I walked as calm as possible towards her, only wanting to pass by and not call her attention to scream at me like she does with everybody. But when I came next to her, the surprise: She smiled at me and asked calmly “Is it Pokemon?” Her voice sounded so normal and nice and I thought how was that even possible. I smiled at her too and nodded. “Yes, it is Pokemon.” “You like Pokemon?” “Yes.” “I like Pokemon too. It’s a good TV show. Where do you live?” “Next to the La Roque bakery. You’re always wandering there, right?” “Yes, but I don’t like that place. Everyone is mean to me. Where are you going?” “To college.” “Good. Study is good. Study well to be someone good in life. Now go there before you’re late. Have a good day, lass.” “You too, ma’am, it was nice talking to you.”
I don’t know you, but I don’t see her as some kind of threat like before. That day I learned that she isn’t some mad woman, it’s just that because she has a mental illness and everyone calls her the old crazy lady and THIS is what drive her insane. The other people drive her insane, it’s not her fault.
I’m not afraid of her anymore.