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gonna glide down

September 18, 2017

I just watched a man kick his dog in public, in front of his two kids. Because I am a useful human, I immediately filled with magma rage and overflowed with tears. Across the space between us I met his daughter’s eyes. We each looked away. 

I sat there and tried to pretend I wasn’t crying, and swallowed all the murder I had inside me for his thick dull neck and his thick dull heart. All I could think of was how I wanted him dead. All I could think to say or do were venom things. And his daughter looked at me over and over and tried to keep the dog good. It’s ok, dad, I heard her say.

I left. I couldn’t think of anything to say or do that wouldn’t fuck his under ten year olds up more than I assume they already are. If you’re already managing your father’s rage at approximately nine, you don’t need the latent fallout an irate strange lady who calls him out on his brute inhumanity potentially entails. There’s nothing helpful you would learn from that sort of interaction either. You already know. 

It has taken me more than thirty minutes to really breathe. During that time I mostly willed him dead, dead as possible, as fast as can be. Amazing, I think, how inherently violence begets violence.

And now that I can breathe again I can think again. And how I wish I had a better handle on my emotions. There actually is one thing I could have done in that situation that would have helped everyone out, including me. I could have walked over and asked to pet the dog. I could have said how good it was being (and it really was, like most regularly kicked things are). I could have said how my bad dog could never be so nice in such a stimulating place. I could have looked into that girl’s eyes at my leisure, and shown her that she is not alone without putting her in a bad spot. 

And I will never forget this. Righteous indignation gets you and nobody else anywhere. And everywhere there is a chance to do something real if you can only move past your feelings and put your own violence aside.

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