Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This happened yesterday

I'm moving out of my apartment on Sunday. I don't exactly know when I'm moving into my new home. As a result, there's going to be a gap and I will, for all intents and purposes be homeless. This is strictly a descriptive term. I'm not homeless like most people who are homeless in that I have prospects, I have a place to go (eventually), I have hope. In my case, it's not a big deal. It's, at worst, a pain in the ass. Temporary, at that. Seriously. It's going to work out and I will be fine. Still, there's upheaval and a certain measure of uncertainty (I have no idea where I'm sleeping Sunday night; Tampa has some lovely parks) and it's stressing me. That's the background. Now, here's what happened yesterday. I left work at 5:30 to go to my other job less than two miles away. I hadn't had lunch and I needed to be there by 6:30, so I had an hour to get something to eat and get to work. However, downtown Tampa being what it is (a fucking nightmare in terms of access in, out or around), traffic was snarled due to Kennedy Boulevard, the busiest east-west street in downtown, being closed to one lane for construction. The hour I had to get something to eat between my two jobs that are less than two miles apart evaporated quickly. I had wanted to get something good to eat and a bottle of water at the grocery store. Instead, I settled for ordering a stupid hamburger and a Coke at a fast food place. I ordered and as I moved up in line, some guy stuck his big, dumb, fat face in my window. "Excuse me, sir..." I was not in the mood to be panhandled, mainly because I am never in the mood to be panhandled, and I told him, truthfully, by the way, "I have no cash". He said, "I don't want money. I want food. Will you buy me some food?" Timing is everything, you know. And the timing of this request is worthy of note in that I had already ordered my food and the dominant thought in my head right now is that I am on the verge of not having a place to live. I snapped. I paid for my food and shoved the bag at him. "HERE! TAKE IT! WHY NOT? ANYBODY ELSE? IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO FOR ANYBODY WHILE WE'RE AT IT?" He took the food and backed away slowly, staring at me. "You know, I don't know where I'm going to live in a few days", I told him. "Who do you think is going to step up and give ME something, huh? When is it MY turn to cash in?" He said, "Somebody will". "Somebody?", I yelled back incredulously. "Who? You? Where's mine, goddamn it??" He just backed away slowly and I drove off. As a result, I felt terrible for being a big, fat, still relatively well-off, entitled asshole who yelled at somebody who was hungry and whose circumstances were undoubtedly more dire than mine. I felt terrible for just giving away the meal that I'd paid for, having gone without lunch and now dinner. I felt generally terrible for all this crap piling up and causing me to lose my shit. Still, and I know this doesn't make me a good person, when I was going off, that felt GREAT! For a few seconds there, I felt all the pressure and stress releasing and that was fantastic. Sure, almost immediately I felt like the biggest piece of shit on the planet, and I still have all the problems I did before. But for a minute there? Wow! I've never smoked crack but if it's anything like that, I totally get the appeal now. For what it's worth, if anybody's worried that I didn't receive sufficient karmic payback for that outburst, my day ended with a Philadelphia Flyers fan sending me bible verses via Twitter. I think that makes me even.


Clare said...

He was right, though. After all, you were his somebody.

Johnny Fonts said...

I've been there with losing your shit and feelign a release. I have a shorter fuse, though.... Stuff's bugging me or a situation is getitng to me and someone crosses me (I will not put down this homeless man as a "crossing me" type of situation though) and I. JUST. EXPLODE.

Everythign drains for a moment... Or even longer than a moment, but guilt sets in. With a stranger, it feels awkward, with someone familiar? It can feel worse unless they care about you.

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