this picture has absolutely nothing to do with the following true-life story. however, it does make me look tough which is something i could have used this afternoon.
today i took the muni home in an effort to save $1.40 (it’s october now and i don’t have a new transit pass). i got off in the castro and starting talking to pete on the phone about the confusing existence of evil people and whatever, it’s none of your god damned business. i was talking and walking. not a big deal. i decided to go down a quiet street so i could hear better and i turned down a street called noe, i think. i was talking talking, occasionally listening, you know, not unusual, when i made what turns out to be the near-fatal mistake of spitting on the sidewalk.
as soon as i spit i heard someone behind me so i turned to look. it was this normal looking middle-aged man, about 5 feet behind me, probably about 6 foot with grey hair, talking on a cordless phone, saying to someone on the other end, “one sec, i’ve got to deal with something.”
I kept walking and the guy came up right behind me and said, “no. that is not okay. this is my street. you can’t spit on my street.”
it took me a second to realize that he was talking to me.
“sorry, sir,” i said,”i’m sorry. i won’t do it again.”
but apparently my apology wasn’t quite good enough because he started yelling, “NO! YOU CANNOT SPIT ON MY STREET. MY HOUSE WAS BROKEN INTO YESTERDAY. WHAT DO YOU THINK? YOU CAN JUST SPIT ON THE STREET?”
“i’m sorry,” i said and i started walking faster, “look, i’m sorry.”
the guy wasn’t really listening. instead he was just yelling. “THIS IS MY FUCKING STREET! GET OFF OF MY FUCKING STREET! YOU CANNOT SPIT ON MY FUCKING STREET!!”
“sorry,” i said.
and then, the dude pushed me.
“i’m really sorry,” i said because even though the guy was obviously completely mental, i’m one of those kids who believes in the power of apology.
or maybe i’m just programed that way.
at this point, i was in the middle of the street (because i was walking in the direction mr. crazy had shoved me) and the man was practically foaming at the mouth. i should also point out that today i don’t look like some sort of hoodlum at all. i am wearing a pink dress and a purple turtle neck. i may look ten but i don’t look like a criminal. still the man wouldn’t quit.
“GET THE FUCK OFF OF MY STREET THIS IS MY STREET GET THE FUCK OFF DO YOU WANT ME TO SPIT ON YOU IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT!!” were the kind of things he was saying, right behind me in my ear and half of my face, as i tried to keep an eye on him and get away from “his street” as quickly as possible.
finally, i sort of yelled back. “NO I DON’T WANT YOU TO SPIT ON ME!” i said, “GET AWAY FROM ME!”
after that and about 1 more second of THIS IS MY FUCKING STREET GET OFF MY STREET, the guy said into his phone, “see what i just did there?” and turned around.
pete was still on the other end of the line. he could probably give you a better account of this than me seeing as all he was doing was the listening part not the getting physically assaulted by a crazy man and trying to think of something to say or do part. i started crying a little bit (because i’m a wuss) and then started laughing a little bit (because, really? spitting? and who was he talking to? his doctor? his sponsor?).
i’m not sure what the moral of this story is. i do know that the guy probably feels really good right about now, having set a young punk like me straight after i committed such an egregious sin against my community. maybe he thought i was gay bashing. though i’m not sure if he was gay (just because it’s castro doesn’t mean you are gay) and he was more of the basher-type than i am. ultimately, i don’t think his outburst of complete insanity had much to do with the actual me. what’s funny, well one of the things that’s funny, is that it happened in a pretty fancy area. there were no crack heads or homeless people, just nice old houses. i don’t know what this goes to show you except don’t spit in front of this one specific dude. because he doesn’t like it. at least not on his street.