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Stomaching the Streets

Credit Miguel Padrinan Unsplash

In the dirt-trodden paths of life, in the ugly corners of our routines, there are those folks you just have to stomach. It isn’t about liking or hating; it’s about need. The damn need.

Ever tried looking at them with different eyes? Not the pitying kind, but ones that see through their scars and tales. Hell, it isn’t about being all matey, just… understanding. You both might be cogs in the same darn machine, grinding away for the same boss and pound. Remember that.

But hey, nobody said you have to let them trample all over you. Set your fences. Mark your territories. Some things aren’t for discussion; some areas ain’t for trespassing. And if they whinge on about stuff that grates your nerves? Change the tune. Politely. But firmly.

Find something – anything – that binds you. A shared joke, a common friend. Hell, even a favourite dive bar. Anything that eases the friction, even just a smidge.

And if they’re like a damn mosquito buzzing around? Limit the buzzing. Break it up. Quick hi’s and bye’s. No lingering. Keep it brisk.

Sometimes, it’s just about not letting the heartstrings get plucked. Being there, but not really. Let the words, the sneers, and the backhanded compliments roll off you like water off a duck’s back.

And when the weight gets too much? Find a friend. A real one. Spill it. Get it off the chest. Or drown your sorrows in a glass, but just the one?

Ask yourself, every now and then – do I need this? Is this worth the grind, the ache, the nights staring at the ceiling? If yes, brace up. If not, make your move.

If it gets too much, if the grit and grime get into your lungs, maybe face them. Lay it out. Raw and unfiltered. Maybe they get it, maybe they don’t.

And after the day’s done, after the battles – big and small – find your corner. The one with the worn-out couch and the radio playing old tunes. Sit back and take a deep breath. You’ve earned it. The world’s tough, but so are you.