This post is dedicated to someone I see every Friday at 2pm. I don’t ask to see her, but she is there. I don’t know why she is there, nor what is going through her mind when she arrives. It is a weekly reminder for me that the mind is one hell of a crazy place to be and despite sounding like something you would read in a novel, is entirely true.
After searching ‘lady’ on Unsplash, this is the image that I found to be most fitting to the post. I wouldn’t want to take an actual photo of the person I am about to write about, nor take photos of my workplace. The image above is very similar to what I see weekly and I am really eager to share this particular experience with my readers.
I started work exactly two months ago on September 11th. A place of work with fantastic views of Sydney Harbour. It is no surprise that we get many people walking by that pause for a moment for a photo opportunity or a little reflection. This is when I first met Princess, doing just that. She was standing there wearing a hat, gazing out of the window just above the stairs leading down to the quay. Wearing a red dress and showing no signs of distress or needing any kind of assistance, her back straight with good posture, gazing straight out to sea. Nothing strange about it, until the duty manager told me that this is what she does every Friday at 2pm. This is one part of her routine. I have since learned that every Friday she comes in from east side of the building (if you were viewing Sydney from a map) and stares out the window, a little further up from where I first saw her. She looks out over the harbour for about ten minutes, before moving down towards the staircase that takes you to the waterfront on the west side of the building. At this point she doesn’t immediately make a move downstairs, instead she gazes for another ten minutes out to the ocean. She then proceeds to make her way down the stairs and up towards the Opera House. What she does after this is unknown.
It might be a good time to tell you how we know her name. We don’t. It was a name that just stuck after some colleagues attempted to talk to her. If you try to talk to her, she walks away. She won’t leave the premises, she will just leave your presence. She doesn’t say a word during the 20-30 minute visit, however it is guaranteed she will be there again on Friday as she was yesterday. This visit is for some reason necessary for her. The same duty manager followed her one day out of the hotel, with a little distance as he was curious as to where she goes. This is how we found out the Opera House is her next destination. Unfortunately DM duties include being at the property at all times, meaning his time outside was very limited. This and the fact that it would be disrespectful to stalk someone that is seemingly of no harm. As far as I am aware no one else has tried to gain more answers, and despite it not being a big deal for most staff that know of her I would love to find out more with each and every Friday I am in the building.
How crazy. In her mind, she wakes up and then makes her way to our building. She then sticks to the same routine without fail and carries out her silent duties. Are we the first part of her journey? Is her whole day planned like this? Is the rest of her week spent with the same rituals in different establishments? So many questions can be asked here and it is a shame that I probably won’t be able to find out if she remains so reluctant to speak.
No matter where we go in life, the mind is probably the craziest place to be. Each and every one of our heads contains different logic and reasoning. We all have interests and desires, different daily rituals and routines. Then, there are people that vary much more in their behaviours, people that act in ways that we cannot understand despite trying our hardest. How many people lead similar lives in a city the size of Sydney? I am sure this one example is the tip of the iceberg.
As big as the bunch of keys is that is strapped to the waist of the duty manager, the one key we don’t have is the one to unlock such a mind. The most crazy and mysterious door of all.