character assassination

Friday, October 21, 2005

I met her, completely by accident, at the crossroads in Belleville. At first I couldn’t recognize her, but I had only seen her twice before.

My first thought was regarding her beauty. She had the kind of fine, even and pointed features that looked even fresher with the sunlight. Her light creamy skin glowed over pouty coral lips. Her eyes were dark and round.

She stood there, on the other side of the grill, inadvertently telling us everything about her life. How her school had kicked her out, how she wasn’t officially registered in class anymore, how her ex-roommate had kicked her out, how she was moving from house to house, and how she was afraid because she had no legal papers. I listened to all of this from a girl in ugg boots and a faded stretch black jean miniskirt.

She kept talking so much we eventually moved to a café to keep away from blocking traffic. She kept on going. How she didn’t like this person, how she didn’t like that, how there was nothing to do, and how people didn’t like her because maybe they had a problem with their relationship. She couldn’t help it if she was so beautiful that immediately all the girlfriends were jealous. How one girl wore too much make-up, and the other one not enough.

I have never seen anybody so clearly refute any possibility, in her mind, that it could have been her who was really offensive.

She was ugly in the way so many pretty girls are. Self-obsessed, narcissistic, incapable of seeing beyond their pointy noses that their litany of blame was manifest of some deep insecurity. Her disdain for Nordic reserve as evidence of a lack of warmth, her complaint of what she judged to be their pretension, her mocking of their style and her inability to understand their humour all left me shaking with frustration. How could she, the product of higher education in a country where we are brought up to tolerate and be curious about other cultures, how could she be so righteous and close-minded?

I remember her phone call, almost two years ago, about the house. She had wanted to take the room we were leaving. I had refused her over her blatant hostility and stress on the phone. A couple of months after that, she wheedled her way into the house by sleeping with one of the flat mates. And now, with that flat mate/ex-boyfriend gone, the others had kicked her out. She had blamed their sudden violent reaction on her ex-boyfriend, whom she claimed had never paid the rent with her money. I know her ex-boyfriend, having lived with him for a year, and he may have been a lot of things but dishonest he was not.

I wish I had something nice to say about her. That the sight of her wouldn’t make me ill. That I could have pity for her endless chattering over her poor victim self. But, in the end, this is what it comes down to. People like that make you want to puke with disgust. Why are there some beautiful girls who ruin it all?