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Thursday, December 14, 2006

She ain't heavy

There's this gigantic fat black woman who rides the same very early morning bus that I do. I'm on flex time, so I catch different buses on different days depending on my hours, but when I work 8 to 6:30, which is at least once a week, she's always there. Probably about my age or a little older. Huge -- I mean, just vastly corpulent. Very dark skinned, very Negroid features. She looks like a bag lady, as she's never to be seen without several plastic grocery sacks and a bulging at the seams bookbag all crammed full of God only knows what.

She rides the bus all the way to the end of the line, like I do, and gets on the same shuttle I do, out to Bluegrass Parkway. She works at the Citibank call center, which is a mile or so from my job.

Everything about her is annoying. If you get stuck behind her as she gets on or off a vehicle, you may as well grab a Snickers bar, because you're not going anywhere for a while. She huffs and puffs and carefully sets down (or picks up) each of her multitude of bags with the same level of delicate precision as you'd expect to see in a demolitions expert defusing a Claymore mine. And she's earnest, and she's unctious, and she will not, probably can not, mind her own business. If you make the mistake of even accidentally allowing eye contact with her for the most fleeting instant, she will gabble at you incessantly for the next half hour about whatever ephemeral stimuli or vague, wispy concept enters her vaporous brain at apparent random. If you don't, well, she'll bray at someone else. You get no peace from her; you certainly get no goddam quiet.

She's just aggravating. I mean, if Allah Herself had set down on a coffee break and calculated exactly what sort of human being would be most easily and casually regarded, and then contemptuously dismissed, by me as 'other', well, this annoying fat black woman would fit the divine bill as if custom made by ingenious orcs.

It may be important to understand here that in the morning, I am an even surlier lout than I am most other times, especially when I am trapped in mass transit with fellow humans not of my choosing on my way to a place I only go because I am paid to do so. I do not want to have people I do not like try to engage me in cheerful conversation about church or Jesus or the college basketball game that was on TV the night before or what the weather is like or what they've heard I do at my job and isn't that interesting. People who do so, do so at their own risk, because, well, I don't like it. On workday mornings when I am on my way to work, I am nobody to attempt to be friendly with.

Although that's not entirely true. Sometimes I can join in the banter, with some of the other regular riders. In fact, I remember one time, after this particular woman got off, one of the other folks speculated as to what she had in all those bags, and someone... okay, it was me... shot back immediately -- "Probably her lunch".

And, you know, everybody laughed.

So, it's possible it's not just that I'm a surly bastard in the morning. It might be that on some level, I'm just a mean motherfucker. At least, towards gigantic fat annoying black women I cannot regard as being in any way part of my particular tribe.

So this morning, she's on the bus and I'm on the bus and I'm ignoring her as is my wont and I take out my copy of JSA #1 which I took in my bag so maybe I could work on the blog post I'm writing about it in between calls.

And she says something to me about it.

At first, I thought it was "So, how's that comic book working out for you there, mister mister manny-man?" in that happy-sappy, Jesus-loves-you-yes-I-know tone she has no matter what she says.

And I was aggravated, and inwardly rolling my eyes, and thinking Why the fuck does she have to fucking bother m...

...and I realized, about half a second after she'd finished speaking, that what she'd actually said was "So, how's that new JSA comic working out for you, with Geoff Johns writing?"

And I was fucking hammered.

She knows who the JSA are?

She knows who Geoff Frickin Johns is?

"Uh," I said, finally. "Well... I don't like it. I don't think there's much story in it. And there's too much stuff in it that he's not explaining fully."

And she nodded. "I think he's overextending himself," she said. "52, Teen Titans, now this... I just think the poor dear is worn out."

And then we pulled into the Citibank call center's parking lot, and she got up and said good bye to everyone on the shuttle in her unfailingly cheerful fashion, and carefully picked up all her myriad baggages, and clambered slowly and ponderously off the vehicle.

And left me sitting there, dazed.

She's...

...she's just like me.

Holy shit.

5 Comments:

At 12:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I can't believe you actually used the term "negroid". What racist backwoods are you from?
Second, are all these judgemental statements from the same guy who was so horrified to think that someone would judge HIM by HIS appearance? (Take a look in the mirror - kind of creepy)
Finally, it is quite clear that she is NOT just like you. Not in the slightest.

 
At 8:04 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

First of all, as a general rule, 'anonymous' commenters are cowardly bitches. Not always. But it's a good general principle. Let's keep that in front of us as we proceed.

Moving on -- Negroid is an actual, specific word in the common language we generally refer to as 'English', much like Caucasoid or Mongoloid. It has no negative connotations that a listener's ignorance do not put there. It refers to a specific, recognized range of features associated with a particular race.

Overly sensitive, overly politically correct dumb ass pieces of shit often piss themselves when someone actually makes use of these racial identifiers, even in the most non-deragotory, objectively descriptive way. But the word itself does not connotate anything negative.

Beyond all this, this entire blog entry is all about me taking a look in the mirror, and discovering that, indeed, someone I have judged in the most heinously shallow manner imaginable does indeed share humanity with me on every level. It was a harrowing moment of enlightenment for me, and I was trying to share that moment, and confess to my own obvious bigotry, and own it, here.

I believe you are someone who has a personal grudge against me, despite the fact that I have shown you and your children nothing but kindness and generosity in the past. I have welcomed you into my home, I have loaned you my own property, I have given your kids gifts. And all you have ever done is lie to me and insult me, and now you won't even sign a recognizable identifier when you do it. Not that you need to, with all the wonderful tracking tools we have available for free now on the Internet.

Yours are the actions of an extremely small and petty person, someone whose soul is shrunken and stunted and sickly... And it's tragic that someone who behaves like this acts as a mentor for children both privately and professionally.

Your deliberate, though still stunning, obtuseness, and more than that, your vehement and vicious compulsion to attack me at the slightest opportunity, reveals as much or more about your own basic character flaws as my willingness to frankly confess some of my own here, and what they have brought me to learn recently about myself and others, shows about mine.

I am obviously willing to own up to my own character defects publicly, and continue to try to work on them. Where are you in that regard?

Oh, I know where you are -- back in those same comment threads where you have been repeatedly told you aren't welcome, and where you have repeatedly promised you will not trespass, poking and prodding at what you perceived to be a moment of weakness on the part of someone you despise. Hiding behind an 'anonymous' tagline so you can deny responsibility for your own despicable behavior in the light of day. What if your students could read the toxic horseshit you hang anonymously while skulking around the Internet late at night? What if your kids could?

Vicious, cowardly, ignorant as to the most basic scientific vocabulary, full of spite and malice and hatred... you are a sad, shabby little specimen. And to think you get paid to teach kids.

I hope you don't teach them to do this.

And yes, I know exactly who I am speaking to --

74-129-208-22.dhcp.insightbb.com (Insight Communications Company L.p)

Kentucky, Ft. Knox, United States, 29 returning visits
Date Time WebPage

15th December 2006 12:46:48 AM miserableannalsoftheearth.blogspot.com/2006/12/
she-aint-heavy.html
miserableannalsoftheearth.blogspot.com/


It's the time of the season for self examination, J. For heartfelt inward analysis, for baring the soul and facing our flaws and for trying to become a better person. That's what this blog entry is all about for me, although maybe I didn't write it very well. You wrote YOUR comment fabulously, though, and it makes clear what this time of the season is about for you -- cowardice and vindictiveness and pettiness and spite and sheer, shrill, spittle soaked hatred.

But then, why should this time of the year be any different than any other time of the year for you?

I doubt you have enough shreds of dignity or spirit left to actually feel ashamed of your behavior, much less to own up to it, understand it for what it is, and try to change it. But do understand this -- I know exactly who and what you are.

I honestly hope none of your kids read this blog. That's my Merry Christmas wish for your family, if not for you. You are what you are, and you seem incapable of learning or changing or growing, and that's profoundly sad for you and everyone around you... but I'd never want children to have to see in their parents what you continually show to me and those I love, simply because you've decided to find us offensive on some level no one but you will ever be able to understand.

 
At 12:06 PM , Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

this entire blog entry is all about me taking a look in the mirror, and discovering that, indeed, someone I have judged in the most heinously shallow manner imaginable does indeed share humanity with me on every level. It was a harrowing moment of enlightenment for me, and I was trying to share that moment, and confess to my own obvious bigotry, and own it, here.

That's what this blog entry is all about for me, although maybe I didn't write it very well.

Oh, don't worry, Highlander, you wrote it very well.
I have to admit to being a little uncomfortable at the beginning of the post, because, well...you were, as you said, confessing to some feelings that we all have at one time or another for those we, for whatever reason, do not see to be of our own tribe, and those feelings are not usually very pretty.

And then you got to the kicker, and I just smiled. I've had those epiphanies too. They can be pretty disorienting.

On the other hand...

Second, are all these judgemental statements from the same guy who was so horrified to think that someone would judge HIM by HIS appearance?

Talk about missing the point.

 
At 4:01 PM , Blogger AaA said...

What Scott said.

Bravo, Highlander.

 
At 6:06 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

Scott, Nate,

Thanks. Really.

 

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