Thursday night, I walked out of my office building toward the intersection as usual. I spotted these two younguns in suits, a girl and a very effeminate boy, walking toward me. They were deeply engaged in some lively conversation. He was talking with his hands and neither one of them were really paying any attention to where they were going.
Seeing that, I started to make my way around them to my right so I could be out of their way. And I hoped that they would come to their senses once other pedestrians got closer to them.
Did I mention that they weren’t paying any attention to where they were going?
So of course, as I circled right, the pair started drifted the same way I was going. Anticipating their veering off course, I kept my path out wider to the right. But because they weren’t paying attention, they kept drifting.
Eventually, we were a few steps away from collision and I ran out of room to avoid them. I even stopped for a second to see if they would notice that I was now trapped between that boy and a newspaper dispenser thing. But nobody paid attention. At this point, there was no time left for me to go anywhere or do anything.
I was going to hit that boy, that was for sure. He was taller than me and probably going to knock me silly.
But why should I let him?
*I* already made my way to the right to avoid this. *I* already paid attention unlike these blathering fools. *I* already made my accommodation.Â “This asshole doesn’t deserve nice” was my resolution.
So I channeled Brian Cushing, a USC leading linebacker. I tucked in my arm, lowered my head and shoulders, and braced for impact.
My left shoulder hit his arm. I felt his arm weaken at impact. I heard a sound of whatever he was holding in that hand hit the floor. And then this strange voice came roaring out of my throat as I continued on my way.
I kept on walking to the intersection and crossing the street without looking back.
And that felt great.
By the time I sat down to wait for my bus a few minutes later, I started to feel a bit guilty.
My usual logic would be to turn right around and say, “Oh my god! I’m so sorry!” And help the guy with picking his stuff up, and continue to apologize for a bit. Be nice and civil about it, you know.
But that day, it was like any human decency left me. I was pure rage. I was all “Fuck you, asshole”. Why should I be nice to you when you’re a jackass? Why should I continue to be civil and let you mow me over? People take advantage of you because you’re nice. I have been nice and I have been taken advantage of. I have always gotten out of the way. I have always said I’m sorry even if it wasn’t my fault. I have always shut up and let it go.
But that day, I wasn’t having any of it.
It was a “Falling Down” moment for me. Thank god nobody at the bus stop has a baseball bat.