Sunday, 2 November 2014

Saccharine evil

I was returning home from a day out in central London.
The air was crispy in Surbiton, it had just finished raining. Not the warmest summer ever in London: It was July and I was wearing a jeans jacket and a scarf.
I started walking towards home. It felt like hiking: shoebox #4 was at the top of a small Surrey hill and the way up felt harder than usual. It probably had to do with the km I walked around London. Or those 2 pints at the pub before taking the train.
A car stopped at a crossroad and turn left. The light inside was on and on the backseat I could see 2 girls. The eldest could have been around 12, the little sister must have been 8.
They were both reading. And then it clicked: it was the night of the release of “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”.
The kids were probably back from the special opening of the bookstores where their (obviously smart and peace loving) parents got a copy each of the book.

I got my copy by mail the morning after and just like them I started reading and forgot about the world.
Even before that day I got a soft spot for J.K. Rowling. But after that night, I liked her even more: you need to be magical to do what she did and keeps doing, i.e. making kids interested in reading.

I kept up with all her writings after the end of the Harry Potter saga and there’s a piece she wrote about Dolores Umbridge for Pottermore, discussed on many other media as well, I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently.

“A love of all things saccharine often seems present where there is a lack of real warmth or charity […]”

The sentence has been swirling in between my thoughts and I think it’s not just because I always found Dolores repulsive: she's not like other villains, she's revolting. Because of what she is and how she acts and presents herself to the world, she's nothing short of disgusting to me.
I see it all around, this saccharine let’s-all-be-friends my-life-is-so-full-of-sweet-emotions way of presenting oneself to the world. And it irks me to no end.

Why? Well, first of all it’s a innate self-defense instinct I guess. I am more inclined to feel unhappy than happy and it's not something I can cure with paracetamol. There's a part of me that I need to keep under strict control to avoid it to gain power: when it happens, darkness sinks my heart, my brain, my vision. When it happens even getting up in the morning feels like an unachievable goal.
Keeping depression off sometimes is an harsh battle in an ongoing war. 
Keeping depression off is my second job. 
After having worked a whole day in the office, after getting back home to cook, wash, clean, etc. and having this ongoing second job always present during the waking hours, do you think I got the patience and strength to deal with this bullshit?

For some time I had the doubt I resented this attitude out of envy: I can't feel so wonderfully happy and happily smiling all the time, so I despise it just like the fox with the grapes. But then again no, it was not a matter of not reaching the grapes; on the contrary it was about finally managing to grab those grapes, only to realize they were made out of wax. They were fake: you can't alway be happy and you can't always be optimistic.
You can't always and only see the bright side of life. If you do, you're either dumb or a liar. I guess the latter options is what most of the Pollyannas are.

The sentence about Dolores Umbridge, however, introduced another option: distrust. If I look back, all this very happy, always too sugary, full of fluffy feelings people I met were the same people that acted the worse towards other people, that were not profitable to them.
These people would always look for a way to get knowledge out of me, only to later betray my trust or abuse my patience: they would do it with a smile on their face, ready to act as the victim of grumpy Virgi the moment I snapped.

They are the people that hug you only to make sure you can not move when they were busy stabbing you on the back.

Sometimes I wear my heart too much on my sleeves and you can easily tell from my face if I'm fine or truly pissed off (my jaw is set in stone and I got this sod-off-look on my face, as one of my colleague used to tell some years ago, even though I believe it is the pissed-off eyebrows that give me away): if I could learn to be more condescending, I'd probably gain more out of many situations. If I could manage to act so cheerful and smiling all the time, dealing with the Dolores of the world wouldn't be so difficult and tiring.
I guess I could do it if I truly wanted it: but, as I said before, I despise Dolores Umbridge and I don't want to turn into one. 

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