Sometimes I worry if my writing makes me come across as a violent person. Truth be told, I’m sure that in certain situations, I could be violent. I hope so because I don’t think I’m the type of person that would let something bad happen to another without doing something – anything – about it.
God knows I’ve written a few stories that show I’m not someone who wouldn’t do that.
But there are times when a human can be so cruel by their actions and words that I want to physically slap them.
That happened yesterday to my friend Mary.
Mary’s daughter was killed 3 months ago in a car accident. Mary’s daughter was in the back seat of a car that crashed into a wall.
I did not know Mary’s daughter but I heard she had been a troubled person who was getting her life back together and was starting to do well. She got a ride that day from someone who was not a good person.
One thing lead to another and the driver was suddenly running from the cops. The young woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She left behind two young children that are now in foster care. Mary has very limited income and resources and the fight for the children has begun. Knowing Mary, she’ll win, but not only does she have to deal with the loss of her daughter, she now has to deal with her grandchildren.
Some would think that the value of the daughter should somehow monitor the grief of the parent.
The comment I overheard was “When the hell is Mary going to get her ass in gear and get back to work? It’s been three months…”
My head snapped. I put my coffee cup down. It was either that or throw it in her face.
“What did you just say? Were you actually criticizing Mary because she’s not here to help? Did I hear that right?”
In my ears, my tone was icy and dangerous. In my mind, it was perfectly clear that I had just drawn first blood.
But not to the person I was speaking to. I will admit that she has never been one of my favorite people. Her name was Vickie and she always thought she was better than everyone else. Now, she didn’t have enough courage to say so. Instead she said it with her dismissive attitude towards people. You were only as valuable to her as you served her and Mary wasn’t here to serve her. Mary wasn’t here at the fundraiser to smile at Vickie and help her with her coffee.
No, that selfish Mary was at home or at one of her many jobs or most likely goofing off because she had such a wonderful, carefree and irresponsible life.
Vickie had money to give. Vickie was married to a doctor. That was her occupation; being married to a doctor, attending fundraisers where she could donate a few dollars here and there and look down on the worker bees.
Vickie turned and looked at me. I waited for her to turn away and ignore me. I stepped a little closer. I wanted her to know I wasn’t going away.
“Well I just think she should be here. I mean, is she going to help around here or not?”
Stupid, stupid woman. I hated her. I hated her guts. I hated her scarecrow body, her cheekbones that never ended and the fact that she had no ass. I hated her and the fur coat she would occasionally wear and I hated the fact that anyone took her money.
“Oh really Vickie? You think that? Well you tell me, what is the proper thing for a parent to do after their child died? I mean, you’ve got a few, so at what point is it that you should stop grieving and feeling sorry for yourself and get your shit together?”
I stepped closer. I wanted to slap her.
“What I mean is..”
“Vickie, I wish I could re-boot your system and install an empathy chip in your poor pathetic head. You disgust me,” I said and walked away. I was shaking.
I left shortly after that. I didn’t want to be anywhere around her. I knew I would spit if she gave money and was thanked for it.
I cried that night for Mary and her daughter, whom I had never met. I cried because I hated that people worship money and not kindness. I cried because people like Vickie were allowed to exist. I cried because I wasn’t allowed to slap that bitch across the face.