Alessandra Rizzotti
January 16, 2012 2:30 am

I saw a girl crying in the street one night. It was cold and dark and I was coming back from one of those stupid college parties where I pretended to be invincible.  In my drunken state, I saw loneliness in the girl, but instead of thinking how or why she got there, I immediately thought of myself and my own state of affairs.  I had just been dumped.  Or maybe I had just dumped him.  Whatever the case was, the act of being dumped or dumping someone had made me cut off all my hair some hours before and I was stuck with a Jewfro.

I was feeling bad for and about myself.  Maybe the internet had made me self-obsessed that day… or maybe it was because I had read Ayn Rand‘s The Fountainhead  that night and briefly thought, “Interesting.”  Maybe I just wanted an excuse to share my trivial sorrows to passerbys that night and be considered normal for doing so.  In offering my arms and support to this desperate little mouse, I was really only offering a pep talk to myself.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey,” she sniffled.

“What’s wrong?”

(There was a lot of gasping and snot, me wishing I had a tissue for her but instead me putting my arm around her and staring out into the street without a look to her face.)

“Was it a boy?” I asked.

And, with short breaths, she replied, “Ye…ahhh—hhah—hhhhh”.

“Well hey, I know it’s dumb to say ‘don’t cry’… BUT… this is going to be so good for you… you don’t even know.  It will be the best thing that ever happened to you…”  And there, in front of this crying stranger, I offered some more tears to the pity party. A teapot of tears.  She must have thought I was mental, but at least I was giving her some form of advice.

When rain started to drizzle down into our den of commiseration, a Mustang rolled up within five minutes to awaken the mess we made.  The girl got up and walked away, beckoning me to her. “That’s him. Tell him I can’t see him. Tell him he is dead to me.”  And, so, following her orders, I approached his car window and said, “You’re dead, dude.  She won’t see you.”

He smirked, so cocky.  “Tell her she should call me.”  Then he drove off, with a vroom, leaving the girl to bawl even more.

“He doesn’t even care about me!!!!” she cried.

“He cares about himself. He’s nothing. So, get over it.”

And, taking heed of my own advice, my desperation for my ex-boyfriend dissipated.  I walked towards her with my hand out for a shake.  “What’s your name again?”

“Chris,” she said.

“Nice to meet you,” I said.  “Thank you for this little chat.  I’m going to be honest.  I came over here because I wanted someone to talk to, but now I just want to say, pretty soon none of this will matter, but first, get that guy out of your life, pronto.”

And, in a blurry tangled ball of funk, I walked away, thinking I had done something wonderful.  I was spreading the age old mantra “to help me is to help you”.

Hopefully she was helped.  I most definitely felt saved.

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Looking back on this My So-Called Life story, I realize I didn’t really do much for this girl.  I never saw her again.  We didn’t exchange emails.  We didn’t even try to be friends.  College was a time where these casual yet emotionally charged exchanges happened often.  It was normal.  Hopefully I’ll find Chris and be able to check in with her at some point.  Maybe we’ll find each other on Facebook?  Who knows.  At least I know she thought about stopping the boy that made her cry.

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