I’m A Human Contradiction
I couldn’t resist responding to today’s Daily Prompt. Restraining myself publicly has become a huge part of my personality, to the detriment of my mental health, but it goes beyond that. I have a lot of anger, and I direct it indiscriminately, but even though I understand how unhealthy it is to bottle up emotions it seems I do that all the time, at least when strangers are involved. Anyway, before I get any further into this, here’s the topic of the day:
Today’s Daily Prompt is:
Break the Silence When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.
Calm on the Outside, Seething on the Inside
I run into people who get on my nerves every single day, and, to be honest, it doesn’t take much to set me off in the first place. All it takes is some sort of rude, thoughtless, or stupid action (or a combination of the three) to make me start losing my mind. The Bi-Polar in me begs to be set loose, itching to at least verbally tear the offender a new one, if not escalate the confrontation to physical blows. Sometimes I don’t even want to say a single word to them, I just want to jump up and down on them (literally). If you could see into my mind when these thoughts start rolling the ferocity and graphic nature of them would probably make them cringe. This is why some say living with BPD is like being stuck in a horror movie. There’s a few things that hold me back from acting on my sinister urges, but the biggest one is the Social Anxiety Disorder I’ve had since childhood. Anyone with a strong case of BPD can tell you that losing control is all-too-easy when we’re provoked, and it usually leads to screaming at the very least, but my shyness and inability to establish meaningful conversations with strangers just won’t let me make an ass of myself. Instead, I usually end up bowing my head and walking away, but sometimes I do get to flash them an evil stink-eye stare to let the offenders know that their poor behavior didn’t go unnoticed. That’s it. In extremely rare cases (maybe every 10 years or so) I get pushed far enough to override my reticence, but it takes so much to get me to that point that most would feel my ‘victim’ had it coming anyway. You have no idea how badly I want to at least call some of these idiots out, especially when they’re blatantly rude, like not helping an elderly woman on the bus by freeing a seat for her, or when some moron actually tries to hit a pedestrian in the crosswalk (it’s happened to me several times). But unless they do something physical to me (like hitting me with a car or pushing me to the ground), are being the biggest jerk possible, or I’ve become at least a little familiar with them (I’ve seen them around because they live down the street or something) it’s not gonna happen. I think part of it also falls back to what my mother taught me as a child about manners, as well. Anyway, that’s enough explanation, I think.
Letters to Strangers
What I’m going to do here is craft imaginary letters to people who commit deplorable acts. I’m only going to create two of them, but if the vengeful feel isn’t your cup of tea, and you want to read something a little more sentimental then hang with me for a bit. The first letter is centered around frustration and anger, but the second taps into something deeper, something that has caused myself and my family a lot of sorrow for over a year now.
To the Morons Who Drive By My House Going 70 MPHMy house sits on the corner of a residential street (which I’ve called Garben Road in other posts) and a wide, busy numbered street that handles tons of traffic every day. For the most part, living on this corner provides a good balance of being in the suburbs while also having access to the businesses you find in more commercial areas. There are a few problems with the area, not the least of which is the gang activity, but one recurring issue really steams my clams: speeding. The speed limit on the large numbered street is never more than 45 MPH, but there’s a long, straight stretch of road for about 1/4 of a mile after the last light, and people love to race down that stretch. By the time they get near my house they’re usually going at least 65 MPH, and I’ve seen some of them exceed 75 MPH. This road is nothing like a highway, and the situation is beyond dangerous for the numerous kids and pets that live in this neighborhood, so it really gets under my skin when I see these careless idiots behaving in such a way. This letter is for them.
If you think no one notices your reckless behavior, and that you’ll never see any consequences for it, you’re dead wrong. I spend a lot of time outside every day and I’m watching you. I understand the urge, and I know how thrilling it can be to fly along in a car like that, but this isn’t the place for that! Do you have any idea what kind of havoc your actions could cause? Or do you just not care that you could end up killing someone? Every time I see one of you blast by I have to fight against the desire to scoop up a handful of rocks and chuck them into your windows. A wake-up call like that is exactly what you need, but I just can’t risk innocent people getting hurt in the process (which is highly possible since you’d probably lose control of your car and crash into one of the many houses around here). But I’ll tell you now, I’m done with standing idly by while you endanger the lives of dozens of children, pedestrians, and pets. The police may fail in catching people like you around here, but I won’t. You obviously need a lesson in safety, and I’m not afraid to give it to you. So, if speeders like you don’t stop this nonsense here’s some of the actions I’m willing to take:
- I will take a lawn chair, my laptop, and a camera, and I’ll set up shop on the side of the road every day (as an author, I stay home all day, so I have the time for it). Along with posting cautionary signs up the road (which will warn you of not only the dangers of your actions, but also of the fact that I’m taking a stand), I’ll sit there documenting every car that passes. If I catch anyone excessively speeding I’ll take note of your license plate number, call the police, and hand over all the evidence to them so they can track you down (which will also include a video of your infraction).
- Despite the possibility of getting into legal trouble myself, I am prepared to escalate this if my first technique fails. In that case, I’ll be creating picket signs that display my complaints and will protest on the side of the road. Any time I hear a speeder approaching (I can hear you guys a mile away, figuratively) I’ll walk out into the middle of the street and block you. And I swear, if you hit me I will slam you with a law suit that will strip the very pants off you. If it comes to this, I’ll also begin scouting for others in the area who are fed up with inconsiderate drivers so that we can create a human chain that blocks the entire street. It may sound stupid on my part, but if it makes this crap stop it’s worth it (and, just to be clear, I won’t mess with responsible drivers unless I absolutely have to).
- My final line of defense applies more to the weekend drunk drivers that blast through here after several hours of partying at the local bars. I really don’t want to resort to this method, but I will if I have to. It only works at night, but I’ve done it before, and it has a pretty strong effect on drivers. If I keep seeing poor decisions rolling down the road I’ll simply light the road on fire. By pouring a flammable liquid (like rubbing alcohol) in a line across the road, I can wait for the right moment to ignite it and have it burning in just a few seconds. It will also continue to burn for a decent amount of time, and will be controlled enough to not set anything else on fire. Everyone, especially motorcyclists (which can be even worse than speeders in cars here), tends to think twice before driving across a line of fire.
I’m tired of seeing such selfish disregard day after day, so please stop being so stupid. Thank you.
To the Careless Woman Who Killed BarryBarry is the person my next letter, which will be published at a later time, will be addressed to. He was my future father-in-law, but my relationship with him had transcended the typical interactions most people have with their in-laws. He passed away about a year and a half ago, and the circumstances of his death were upsetting, to say the least. I’ll present the precise details soon, but there were two responsible parties for his early passing: incompetent doctors and a selfish woman with a cold. This letter is what I would say to that woman if I could ever track her down.
We’ve never met, but I already dislike you. You took someone from me, from my family, and I don’t know if I can ever forgive you for that. Do you recall how you were a passenger on a flight to Los Angeles during the holiday season of 2012? You had caught some sort of virus that had spread like wildfire, one that was particularly nasty and tenacious. But rather than doing the right thing and staying home, you pushed on and exposed who knows how many people to your illness just for the sake of fulfilling your Christmas obligations to your friends and family. I can understand that situation, I know you’d have lost the money you’d paid for the ticket, but was it really worth causing a good person to die? Was it worth taking someone from us several decades before he should have passed on?
There were several precautions you could have taken to protect others, but you didn’t even try them. Barry’s widow was with him, and she remembers everything you did. She remembers you constantly coughing through the entire flight, and she remembers you never attempting to cover your mouth. You were sitting less than a yard from Barry! What did you expect would happen? That the crap you were spewing into the air would just float in the other direction? He tried everything possible to stave off the infection of your nastiness, but you were pumping out the pathogen at such an alarming rate it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been on the other side of the plane from you. His wife also recalls your poor hygiene, how you’d wipe your nose with your bare hand, then touched everything around you. Do you even want to know what happened to him, or are you so apathetic and cold that you just don’t care?
A few days after the flight, Barry started showing signs of the cold he’d caught from you. It wasn’t hard for him to figure out where he’d come into contact with it, either. He was visiting his family for Christmas because his father was about to pass away, and he had to do this all while fighting the horrid symptoms of your little gift. He thought it was just like any other cold, and that he’d get over it soon, but by the time he and his wife made it to Portland to spend some time with my fiancé and I it was obvious that he was in bad shape. You see, he had asthma, and usually it didn’t affect him, but somehow that particular cold activated it, complicating his body’s response to the invasion. He was so sick when he got here that he could barely function. I’d known him a decade and I’d never seen him so ill before. He was one of the strongest people I’ve ever known, so him catching something was shocking to begin with, even for his wife.
He spent a few days here, and we tried to convince him to go to a hospital, but he refused. He said he wanted to wait until they got home so he could see his regular doctor, but we all knew there was more to it than that. I think, deep down, he knew he was in peril. He knew his life was about to end, and he didn’t want his wife to be so far from home while he was laid up in the hospital. So he soldiered on for her sake, displaying his devotion and affection for her just like he did any other day. He was selfless and giving like that, especially when his wife was involved. He suffered for days, rarely leaving their hotel room and barely eating. By the time they got home he had to be taken to the emergency room because he couldn’t breathe.
He spent several days in the dinky little hospital near their home, which worried me since they lacked the proper equipment and doctors to treat him thoroughly. With every day his condition worsened, and by the time the idiots at the hospital finally figured out that they should air-lift him to a better facility it was too late. Less than an hour after the helicopter landed he stopped breathing, and they couldn’t resuscitate him anymore (it wasn’t the first time they’d had to bring him back). He’d ended up in a drug-induced coma and a ventilator a few days before the trip, so he didn’t have to feel the pain for a short while, but he shouldn’t have died.
If you had only covered your damn mouth we might still have him with us today. Because of you, Barry ended up dying before his own father. You have no idea how much pain you’ve caused my family, and you have no idea how badly I wish I could somehow give you a taste of what we had to go through. You better hope I never meet you in person.