Friday, June 15th, 2012 (early Saturday morning, actually)
I was in a perfectly good mood tonight. I was out walking and reading, it was around 1:00 am, and I was heading to 7-Eleven to grab sumpin' to drink. Tonight was Friday night - an active night. Lots of kids driving around with loud music, loud engines and loud voices. I had no problem with that. I had no problem with anything; that is, until a car passed me on Oak St. right before Fry St. and I heard, "I love your hair, you fucking faggot!" followed by raucous, taunting laughter. This startled me badly, as I'd had my nose in a book and was hardly paying any attention to anything around me except for the necessities - the borders of the sidewalk, and the occasional stop sign, and the occasional location check.
My instant reaction was that my head jerked up, along with my hand and middle finger. It's just automatic, I don't have conscious control over it in a situation like that. It happens, even though in hindsight I'd rather have just stayed inert and silent... but I yelled, "COME BACK! YOU JUST TURN AROUND AND COME ON BACK RIGHT NOW, MOTHERFUCKER! COME BACK AND GET OUT OF YOUR CAR AND SAY THAT AGAIN TO MY FACE! FUCKING COWARDS, FUCK YOU!" I glanced around and there was a couple walking in the same direction on the other side of the street. They had stopped and were looking at me, and their mouths were formed into these little, precise 'O' shapes. After a few seconds, time kicked back in and we all continued walking. I was close to tears at the surprise I felt, at having gone from completely content, to humiliated rage in the span of about five seconds. I was completely discombobulated.
Now, I should mention that this kind of thing happens to me several times a year when I'm out strolling about. Sometimes I even get stuff thrown at me, like coke cans or cups full of ice and soda, but I usually don't react the way I did tonight... to the extreme I did tonight, anyway. It was just so unexpected. It was a freakin' ambush. I got ambushed. Sneak attack, out of the blue, ambushed and shot right out of my saddle as I was swaying to the rhythm of the story I was ensconced within, content with my evening indulgence and the anticipation of a cool drink at the 7-Eleven, and maybe a smoke. And then those random bastards just shot me right off my horse.
Well, my evening stroll was ruined. I didn't have the stomach for walking anymore, and when I tried to go back to my story, it wasn't fun to read anymore. I decided that I would just stop off at the 7-Eleven per my original plan and get something to drink and then walk home. So, I went into the store, grabbed a Gatorade and brought it to the counter, and the night guy - Mr. Chin - pretended I wasn't there, even though I was standing at his register. Then, when another customer approached with his items, ready to be checked, Mr. Chin said to me, "Not you, him." and motioned to the guy behind me, who kind of muttered "Sorry dude," to me as Mr. Chin rang up his items. This just about shocked me right out of my shoes, and it took me a couple of seconds to actually get my feet to obey my commands to back my body up, so the other guy could go have room at the counter. After that guy was finished, Mr. Chin kept motioning to other customers to come ahead of me until I was the only one left in the store, at which point I finally got my Gatorade and left. Maybe Mr. Chin was just following some kind of personal creed of his - that regular customers should come ahead of employee customers, or maybe he was joking. Maybe I was just being oversensitive because of what had just happened... whatever the case may have been, he didn't seem like he was joking, and I don't really know him that well anyway... but after having been called a fucking faggot, getting shoved to the side and made to go last felt really shitty, like I was being punished for heaven knows what. It sucked.
On my way home I took Carrol up to Congress, and then took a right. I was almost to Elm St. when the same insultmobile which had passed me on Oak St. passed me again. As it went by, the brake lights immediately came on, along with the blinker, as if the driver had recognized me and decided to turn around right then to take me up on the invitation I had screamed earlier. I immediately started to get my blood up again, so I turned off my e-book and waited to see what they would do. The car stopped in the road and made as if to turn into the adjacent parking lot, then went on and turned right on Elm St. It kept going and disappeared, and after a couple of minutes, I didn't see it again so I resumed my walk. However, I hadn't gone more than ten steps when I tripped over something on the sidewalk and just went ass over teakettle. After everything else, It was just a nice layer of concrete icing on the steaming turd I'd been served earlier... injury added to insult. Pain in my palms, pain in my elbows and knees, pain in my ankle and wrists, pain in my chin... but most of all, pain in my pride and my ego.
After that I just walked and wondered. Why did whoever it was in that car call me a fucking faggot? Was it some inherent need they felt to do damage to another person? To make somebody feel bad, just because? Or, was it like, some kind of feeding process? What, were these people not human? Were they emotional vampires? Or didn't they know or understand that tossing an insult like that to a random stranger was likely to do some form of hurt? They wouldn't have liked it, would they? Why do people so casually lack empathy? Doesn't anybody know the difference between right and wrong? Why are people such shit heads, all over the world, every single day, throughout history and on into the future? Why do we get off on it?
And now, as I sit here and type all of this, ready to post it publicly, I wonder about my own motivation for doing it. Why can't I just suffer my injuries quietly and be at peace with the situation? Why do I type it up and post it so that other people can read it too? Is it so that I can at least get rid of some of the pain and humiliation by cutting it up into little pieces and sharing it with all of you guys? By being generous with the crap and making sure everybody who doesn't want one gets a piece? By making sure the damage gets partitioned out equally? Am I so generous with the pain?
And this is where I sense the major flaw in myself... the source of my ugliness, the part of me that wants to spread around the hurt until it's gone, because I can't just forgive it and let it disappear that way. And I realize that I'm just like everybody else.