I had a couple of strange experiences this week that make me question if the theorized separation of the human species into separate distinct sub-species might not be truly be a reality. A portion of me believes that I am speaking with hyperbole; but deep down inside, I am really starting to believe this shit. We’ll go from least complex emotionally and move on from there.
So…. I’m driving my son to school, wading through the park lot traffic. Drop the kids off and head to the exit of a somewhat busy thoroughfare. Its one of those exits where a left hand turn is so unlikely that there are signs prohibiting it during normal school hours. For the most part, cars in front of me are respecting this portion of the social compact; a few here and there are attempting this unlikely solution to these parking lot woes, but not many. Behind me two cars, there is this bitch, and yes, we’ll call her a bitch to rightly set the tone, laying on her horn every thirty seconds; in some delusional belief that by doing so would somehow speed her departure from this middle school parking lot hell.
At first this blaring horn sound emanating from behind me was processed by my half asleep mind as a cliché expected sound of the grid lock we were all encountering attempting to exit this lot. As it became obvious just how tricky it was to even make a right onto the main road, I realized what this jerks honking actually signified from her point of view. There she was, sheltered in her car, interacting with the same meaningfulness as if you were art home watching television (or playing a video game for the younger generation). A two year old, who is the center of the universe, throwing a tantrum that they can not get their own way.
I looked at my clock and realized I had fifteen minutes to burn. A large part of me wanted to get out of my car and confront her; not aggressively but in a jovial “lets put all of this in some amount of perspective” standpoint. But I didn’t, pussy that I am.
A few days later, I was confronted with an even more egregious display of human indifference. My dog who is insanely territorial, escape my backyard. It was pure happenstance that he encountered another dog walking by the house on a leash. In his typical fashion he got in the dogs face and began bellowing. This dog is all bark and no bite, like me. In any case, the other dog sensing a threat, and probably rightly so, grabbed my dog by the throat. My dog never having been in a fight had no idea how to react cowered in fear and let this other dog maul his shoulder.
I reacted in a very similar fashion to my dog. I backed off and let the other dog owner pry his dog’s jaws off of mine. I was shaken; sure my dog was a goner. After a minute, he managed to pry the dogs apart. Immediately, this guy got in my face, screaming that I had created the situation. Yes. Thank you, my dog escaped and I know it’s my fault- he created this conflict– as my dog is bleeding, lying still on the ground—your dog is still going for him. Nothing we can do to change the reality of the situation. The fucker walks away screaming, “this is all on you bro” over and over again, no care in the world as to anyone’s condition but his own.
After a bit of education from our vet as to how to help him heal, our dog is probably going to be fine; asshole that he is. But what of this other pet owner? If the roles were reversed and my dog did major damage to someone else’s dog, regardless of who started the shit, I would hope that I would show some compassion In reality, in situations such as these, we are all losers. No care in the world, this guy walks on yelling recriminations.
In conclusion, I don’t really have any conclusions. I strongly suspect this has something to do with me being a more rational human being then you, though this central thorium is rather suspect. I’ll leave you with one more example of this in my everyday life. On the road ahead of you there is a car behaving erratically in a fashion that can only indicate a driver over the age of seventy five. You have no idea if they are slowing down because they are about to signal to make a turn or because they have done so every tenth of a mile for what seems like the last thousand miles. Are you the asshole who starts tailgating them in order to, what, run them off the road? Or are you smiling, a safe ten car lengths behind, in the realization that we’ll all be there some day and who the fuck is in a rush to get to work anyways?