For many people, the super power of invisibility is a dream. For others it’s a goal. They are sick of people noticing them, so they dress to fit into the background. This is what I hear at least. Because for me, it is a curse.
I am cursed with invisibility. Not at good times—when I am sick of talking to people I am approached by 67 friends I haven’t seen in years. I am invisible when I need help. Case in point, the gas station this morning.
For those not familiar with Oregon, we don’t pump our gas. There is a state law that employs people to pump gas into our cars. This is nice when it is cold or rainy out. It is not nice when someone drives around for two days with their gas light on and then forgets about it when they jump into their car in the morning later than planned to get to the car staging bus stop on time.
I sat for 10 (precious) minutes as the helper literally circled my car twice. He never made eye contact with me and in fact talked to the people in the cars on both sides of mine for a while as he waited for their cars to be filled up. After a couple minutes of this, I realized it was happening again.
I was in a thousand pound, obnoxiously colored vehicle and was not being noticed, like I was covered in camouflage. I thought about “accidentally” honking my horn. I turned up the radio. I turned on the “urban” station. Nothing.
So I started my car as he was a foot from the engine…still nothing. He had been running from gas island to gas island and never once looked toward me. I was disrespected. I was ignored. I was out of there.
As I drove away, thoughts flooded into my head. Lots of thoughts about being rejected, invisible, disrespected. Thoughts of the time while praying about feeling invisible, I was nearly hit by cars 3 times on my walk home. I wanted people to notice me, just acknowledge my existence, and yet God sent THREE cars to keep me awake. I thought of the other times where I wanted to be invisible because Saturday night was a little too long, and was instead greeted by people who had deep questions. When I was stuck in my head and wanted to be alone. And inversely, when I wanted to be included and was forgotten.
I started thinking of how strange life is that when I want quiet, I get life at Daytona-like defining decibels and how when I want to be the life of the party, the only one I am invited to his my own pity party. Then I pulled into the neighborhood parked, and jogged for the bus I just caught up with. And the thoughts passed till I resurrected them just now…because I am not always invisible. I am learning that things happen for the right reasons and there is a season for everything. Maybe that quiet aloneness comes in different ways now.
Good thing there is also that beautiful girl in my life that lights up and acknowledges me every time I enter the same room as her to balance out those gas pumpers.