At the beginning of this year, I was told to clean my working space. Over the years, I have filled my workspace with small trinkets and memorabilia. A lot of postcards and sentimental notes, Lego figurines, even a retro picture. And as with all cleaning process, I need to go through all of this to separate things that ‘spark joy’ and those which do not. One of those trinkets is an evil patch.
For years, I have had it glued to my office monitor. What is an evil patch? It is a small red jacket patch that says “evil” on it. Yes, the font and style are exactly like Levi’s. It is a parody of the brand. People would come and look at it, maybe asking silent questions like what is it doing on the monitor? Who’s branded as evil?
The patch was given to me. Now it served as a reminder to always be authentic and be kind to others.
What makes it special is the person who had given it to me. Let’s call this person M. When I first knew M, they walked in, looked at my workspace and said, “Have you seen this patch? I think you will like it and it will fit exactly in this space”. For the record, I had a few of The Joker trinkets and quotes on my desk. Yes, I always like the villain.
M was a very expressive person. We chatted over time, and during those times, I stop counting how many times they changed their appearances. These appearances were always bold, unique, and not for common people. M was born with a silver spoon, but never I heard about their privileged life. I also knew M struggled with mental illness. They needed to take around 14 pills each day to function ‘normally’. M would tell stories of minor accomplishments like how it used to be so hard for them to tie their own shoes, and thanks to medication, they could tie those shoelaces.
M was also unapologetic. They would speak loudly of mental health. Touching young hearts everywhere and encouraging everyone to take a better care of ourselves. M was a perfectionist, never waited for others and relies heavily on themselves. “I know I shouldn’t think like this, but I rather work harder than get disappointed by others,” they would say this during assignment. Perfectionism became a shield and also a crack in M’s relationship with others.
Talking with M made me feel like the future was within my reach. What might’ve been changed into what could happen. M was excited with what the future hold. They already planned to publish a book, only waiting for the perfect time. And to pursue further education, so they can give back to the society by becoming a teacher.
M was a great person. A great person always gone too soon.
We feel if a person is amazing through the echoes of their existence. When we lose this person, the resonance of their past actions is left filling the void. M would want their words and actions to act like a beacon for others. They would boldly light the way, not the one filled with sadness but the path which filled with joy and laughter. M will always remind me to be myself no matter what, to celebrate minor achievements, and to always take care of my mental health. Thank you for the life lesson, M!
The evil patch now rests comfortably on my laptop, and it will go whenever I go.
A writer | researcher | lecturer who also a tech-addict and internet-junkie