Mystic Metals Body Jewelry
I Hate Trash, Especially The White Kind
Here's a friendly note of advice. Texting while driving is a big assed ticket, and you can get pinched for texting at a stop light. Why do I know that? Guess. Yeah. It's those wonderful little segments of life that remind you that when things are just getting better, you'll get put back into your place. Still, I broke the law, and I believe in the law and its process, so I can't be that cheesed at it. It sucks, though. So don't do it. Text and drive, I mean. You can break any other law you want.
You cats and kittens know by now that I hate people. What makes that a Greek tragedy is that people seem to like me. Like that Asian legend of the broad who can't love but is loved by any man who sees her. Maybe it's not like that. Well, a little bit. Anyway, I hate people and I realized something unsettling about myself. I realized that I have a low tolerance for people of lesser intelligence. Now before you make the joke that how I should tolerate everyone, let me explain what I mean. I have a low tolerance for those who ask questions and upon receiving the information asked, continue to believe his pre-asking assumptions. I also have a low tolerance for people who don't understand what you're saying yet take no interest in learning. And speak improperly. If you say ya'll or you's when you're talking to me, I can see my tolerance gauge inching toward E.
This must have been spawned by something, right? Let's have a story time. Yeah; I know we had story time last week, but we're doing it again because we're adults and we can make decisions like these.
Friday's gig was one of the more mis-booked gigs we've had recently. See, my band covers top forty shit. A lot of hip hop, a lot of crap that goes platinum in the first month of its release and then disappears five months later into the ether of music that never should have been written in the first place. So when we get booked at a joint that is in the south of Jerz, we're destined for failure. For those who don't understand what the south of Jersey is like, let me briefly explain. Not all of Jersey is Situations and Snookis. As a matter of fact, very little of it is. At the top of the tiny state I call home, you have factories and dense communities of people who sound like they live in Brooklyn. In the center, pine trees that grow out of sand. On the west coast, Delaware River, and on the east coast, the Atlantic ocean. In the south portion, there is some of the land that time forgot. Country hick towns, rodeos, people who own quads and farms. There's even people who talk like they're from the Deep South. Right here in Jersey. Also, the Jersey Devil floats around carrying off goats and things. So my top forty cover band is playing a gig in a town that is in this southern description of Jerz. Fart in church, lead balloon, successful me; whatever failure idiom you'd like to use.
After the first set, which we played very well and received zero reception, I stepped out for a cigarette. It was gloomy and raining, foggy and misty with the glow of the Wawa sign across the street refracting in the low clouds. I had been aggravated for several days because of other life things unrelated to anything happening at the club that night. I was smoking alone and quietly, hoping that set two and three would go by quickly and I could get back home to play Gears Of War.
The door to the club opens, and a short older woman, a younger kid, and a rough looking, older giant cat come walking toward me. The big guy stops the locomotion of the trio. I ready my one side up, lip curled in smile, and I nod a hello. The big guy stops, standing probably seven inches from my face. The benefits of having a billed hat.
"Why you have that cane, there?"
I've answered this question a million times (probably a thousand just today) in varying degrees of proper English.
"I have spina bifida."
A blank and dumb 'not a big reader' kind of look. He breathes in through his nose. It whistles. The whiskers of his unshaven lip flutter.
"I have a bad spine," I say, hopefully quelling the ignorance that is rattling around his skull like a marble in a galvanized bucket.
"I seen you walking without it. What's that."
That is a misuse of a past participle, I think. I don't say that.
"I need both hands to set up, so I put the cane down to do it."
"Then you ain't need it."
"That's why I use my wheelchair during the day so that I can do my job at night. Would you like to see my wheelchair?" I gesture toward my truck parked in the handicapped spot nearby. He steps slightly closer. Maybe six inches away now. He smells like light beer.
"You see, pal," I start, "it's not about mobility so much as it is about pain."
Possibly a difficult premise for this guy to wrap his direly unused grey matter around.
"It hurts to walk," I finish. His expression doesn't change. It is of judgement and condemnation. I feel that my eyebrows have narrowed, my head has tilted ever so slightly to the right, and my jaw has moved forward slightly. Angry face in its infancy.
"My uncle got a cane. He can't walk good because he had a stroke. He needs his cane."
At this point, the younger boy looked embarrassed, and the woman was smiling the 'I hope this guy isn't offended by this person associated with me' smile.
"Sucks," I say dragging my cigarette and not turning my face away from his to exhale. Most of the smoke curls out of my long nose. A passing car causes a wind that carries some of the smoke away.
"Yeah it does," the giant man says. "He need his. I seen you walking around without yours and it pisses me off."
"I figured that part out, cap'n," I say. He tries a stare down. I wasn't budging. I was thinking about how awesome it would be if this guy got escalated enough to hit me. It would mean that I didn't have to play the next two sets at this Hee-Haw bullshit place. The woman ushered the big man along, and the trio began to leave.
"Thanks for coming out," I say, turning my back toward him and lighting another cigarette with the last of the first. I went back into the bar and sat alone for a moment. Pissed off and filled with hate.
For the next (what day is it?) five days I stew in this. I wallow in it. I bathe and drink and simmer and soak in it. Why should I care what some white trash piece of fuck thinks about my disability? Because it hurts my feelings, that's why.
For just one day I would like to be 6'3", 235lbs. Just one day. I would like to be a giant for one day because I know that would be the day that no one would fuck with me nor ask about my cane or chair in a judgmental way. It happens a lot, and I would like to be the intimidator once. Just once. The problem is that I'm not that, so I have to field all this type of country bumpkin bullshit, hopefully satisfying the infantile and minuscule thoughts that frightfully scurry around unwelcome in this hick's unshaved head. The bigger problem is that this conversation (if you can call it that) reminds me of what I am not, or more properly, what I am. The ease of it would be to accept that this guy's opinion doesn't matter -which it doesn't- and move on in knowing what I am. The difficulty is that I don't like what I am. How can I defend and find comfort in a thing that I myself hate? It would be disingenuous, and therefore I would have to agree with the judgment and displeasure that this toothless homo habilis has brought to the table. It only makes sense.
This guy crushed me and made me unbeautiful. It would be very easy to dismiss him with insults (as I've done a little bit in this rant), but that doesn't make me feel better about me. In some ways, it makes me feel worse. This guy questioned my disability, and in such, made me feel fraudulent and undeserving of the tools and aids availed to me. He cut me down, man. Made me feel as if my childhood and my life of pain was an illusion, a psychosomatic conjuration into a reality in which it doesn't exist nor belong. In words he could understand, he made me feel like shit. In certain terms, he is a no one who has an uncle who had a stroke. Whatever; I don't care and I hope his uncle is dead. In other terms, he is a demolitionist of my sense of self. The question is this. Did he do this because he stole right, or did he do this because I gave him permission to do so? How many people to whom do we freely give our beauty in order to criticize and reform like wonderfully non-toxic red Play-doe, then just to return it to us as they have sculpted. Sometimes it is hard to resculpt. Stay beautiful, kids.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad