Not Good

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Break the Silence.”

When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.

Near Dublin city center a couple of years ago I passed someone in the street who was obviously in a terrible place mentally. He was a big overweight boulder of a man of about forty, with a buzz cut, in need of a wash, wearing knackered sportswear. He was stood on the pavement, at 10 in the morning, ranting and howling unintelligibly at the ground ahead of him with a ferocious energy that was startling. He was red in the face from the effort- it was a scary spectacle. I had just come out of a newsagents nearby and had stopped to put stuff in my bag when he took up his post on the pavement near me.

Maybe this guy is just a Dublin fixture, old Barmy Gerry or something, and any Dubliner reading this would laugh at how solemn I’m being about it all. In the heat of the moment I did in fact react something like that. I turned to a man standing at the entrance to the newsagent and gave him a nervous little smirk, like ‘What’s with this guy?’ The man at the newsagents just glared at me, which was what that reaction deserved. To answer the prompt, I should have not been a twerp and immediately said or done something helpful instead.


16 thoughts on “Not Good

  1. The last time for me was in a Kroger grocery store in Virginia, U.S., and my grocery bagger had a rebel flag belt buckle. This was shortly before the recent racially motivated shootings at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. I wanted badly to condemn the company allowing an employee to wear such offensive apparel to work, but I instead kept quiet. I should have at least made my opinion known as a frequent customer.

      • Thank you. Surprisingly enough (not sure if you’re here in the states) that flag or any t-shirts, etc bearing it, were prohibited at my high school in Georgia. Not so here in Virginia, which is arguably a much more progressive state. I was really disappointed to see Kroger allow that type of gear on an employee. Disappointed in general to see someone wearing it, but “those types” are asserting themselves quite a bit at the moment.

  2. Mine was an old woman who walked by my house in L.A. who was totally nude from the waist down. I ran back to my bedroom to find a skirt and ran out into the hall and down the front steps, but when I got out on the street, she was gone. I ran up to the corner and looked both ways, then got in the car to look, but never could find her. I often think about how vulnerable she was and wonder what happened to her.

  3. Hi treatwilliams and thanks for finding me so I could find you. My favorite sentence in your post? “He was a big overweight boulder of a man of about forty, with a buzz cut, in need of a wash, wearing knackered sportswear.” Why? Because I can see him and feel the little nervous knot in my stomach. I’m not sure I would have said anything either or known how I could help if faced with such a person mumbling incoherently. As for not saying, I confess that as I got older I became more proficient in speaking my mind. It isn’t always a good idea, though. As the French say: “Toute vérité n’est pas bonne à dire!”

  4. Well we all make little mistakes. At least you will remember next time if you see someone in distress or maybe needing a kind word you will remember this moment and do it differently 🙂 good job for recognising this man. You know a smile or a kind word can change someone’s life I’d like to follow you, seems we both going thru a struggle and write about our journeys, would you follow my journey too ? Xx

      • Well you just never know what someone is going thru hey… It could be a stranger walking along the beach or something contemplating their life because they believe know one cares about them , or life isn’t worth living .. You smile at that person, or say hello, how are you today or one of the best things to ask someone is R U OK? .. That one question could save a life 🙂

      • I’ve written a blog post on the mental health day question, R U OK? .. Check it out. Not sure if you have that day I know it’s national but I don’t know what they do in regards to mental health and suicide prevention and awareness in other countries ..

      • I will check it. Funny I was going to do a post on when RU OK? is used as a power play/ put down. Completely different thing though. Not too sure bout mental health awareness days here.

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