Bittersweet Dragon Butterfly – Part II: Weirdness

Credit: Chase Wilson on Unplash

A new year dawned, the first Saturday wasn’t so surprising. The same lax team lead-dude was sitting in the fishbowl. I noticed there was something really nice about the place. Back when I worked in the distribution centre of the same company, I worked in a department dominated by men. They were pretty conservative about women and the young as well as the old men would talk in an unflattering way about their experiences. One of the guys was the archetypical bad guy, he was 20-something and always had one of these stories about how he took some kind of girl to his place. His father was totally fine with him getting laid so often, his mother didn’t like it so much. Once, he showed me a video of his latest catch, I asked him if it was his mother. Then there was this old guy who seemed somewhat narcissistic and suffering from dementia, he always had some kind of story of how he banged women near big trash bins at festivals. It was a somewhat toxic experience, at times I felt like vomiting. The digital supermarket seemed like bliss in that sense. It was a really mixed place. I got a lot of female attention, more than I’m used to, which is to say, I’m used to little. Some of the guys I worked with, actually got jealous about the Polish women coming to me to talk. When two of the guys I worked with left, one of them showed how he disgusted he felt about me. As he felt that I was talking behind their backs about them in a language they don’t understand. I thought it was really weird. I didn’t understand their jealousy. On that day, I talked a little to the athletic girl. She seemed to be somewhat negative, a little pissed about the place and whatever else. I couldn’t help but put forth a nervous grinning.

For whatever reason, I started reading about dating and whatnot. It was probably the first time in my life I gave the subject some thought. Before that, I was never really interested in it. There were girls who were interested in me, but I was never really interested in them. With all the bullying that went on in my life, I preferred to be alone. I started to observe the athletic girl at the workplace. She seemed to be fairly negative, for some reason. On one day, I felt like I saw a couple of ‘red flags’. One of the ‘red flag’ moments, was when we were preparing to fill the shelves. The preparation consists of putting the boxed products in the pathways they should be in. Now, someone thrusted a box of wine in her hands. With a smile, she complained that the boys should do all the heavy stuff. The second was that she screamed ‘binge-drinking!’ audibly in Dutch. I felt like my interest was gone. The stupid thing was that I talked about it with two friendly co-workers. And I said to a friendly senior dude that I thought she was strange. She seemed to be absent in the next week, like a full 180 degrees from the spontaneous behaviour she showed before. And the week after that one, I talked to her and she said she didn’t sleep all night. She behaved like a zombie, it was like she was living in a different universe. I wondered how I could be attracted to someone like that in the first place. To me it felt like she was destroying herself. I thought she was crazy, one of the co-workers explained to me that he thinks she has problems. During the week, she works in the clothes she wears at school. Which is, tight clothing and whatever. My rational conclusion was that she is the type of girl that could eat your soul.

Eventually, it became February and my last week before the internship at Seafood Co. started. I did something I wasn’t really proud of. I had some very frustrating competitive matches the day before I went to work. For some reason, I channelled this energy and went to the athletic girl. From a distance, I asked her whether she ‘survived her training regime’, in a bit of a flirty/teasing way. She asked me to repeat what I said, then after she heard it, she threw a tantrum. She suddenly hit the desk and threw the papers which were on it all over. I didn’t knew at the time what I did wrong, but I felt bad for what I did. One of the co-workers thought it was really ballsy and asked me whether I had contact with her outside of work. I’m telling you, nerds can be really clueless about social interaction. The next time, seeing her felt pretty strange. It was like she had some kind of mental barrier that kept me away from her. She started reminding me of how I was when I was younger. At the time the bullying was at its peak and after that, I distrusted about every one of my age. I was cold and rational, I didn’t want anyone to come near me. When I went to my coach, I started comparing the situation to looking into a block of ice and seeing myself, about 17-18 years of age. When I saw her, I saw the same pain I’ve had in all those years. I was emotionally numb at that time, the people around me killed all the emotional and spontaneous parts I used to have. Those are the memories that made me look into myself and look forward to self-development. The coach said I had some kind of spiritual experience.

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