There’s an old lady who lives on my avenue in that odd house lined up amongst apartment buildings. She has fairies, gnomes, trolls and wind chimes in her yard. She patrols the street in front of her house like lord of the manor. When I jog she stares with her forehead wrinkled. Once, when I jogged by she put her hand out to stop me. She was hosing – she’s a controlling little bully.
Today she had workers in front of her house. There was enough space for me to jog, but she charged out with both palms facing me and stomped, “Stop! The sidewalk’s wet.” I looked for wet cement, but it was only water. She shrugged as I moved forward and said “Okay, but if you fall.” “Thanks for your concern,” I said. When it rains on the sidewalk you don’t slip – ridiculous!
On my way back there was a cement chute from a truck blocking the sidewalk in front of her house. I ran up a few yards from it. I prepared to run around in the street because this time there was no room. Frankly I wanted to confront her. “You can’t go this way,” she yelled. I told her she needed to put a sign up saying there was construction going on. I told her she didn’t have to yell and that she shouldn’t be ordering people off the sidewalk. Then it came, roiling out of the space in my brain that I’d been saving for her, “I don’t know who you think you are with your cheesy little house with all that tacky shit in the yard, but you don’t own this block!”
Why didn’t I just let the woman continue thinking she was mistress of the manor? Well, somebody had to let her know that she doesn’t own the sidewalk, that’s why. See it was my job to tell her that she can’t bully people. But what would it have cost for me to have simply gone around the area by walking in the street without saying anything?
When I’m tired, stressed or haven’t eaten enough I have to watch myself. That’s when I might be looking for people I can easily use as targets for the anger I have about my own situation. I reminded myself that this is how bad stuff happens in a split second, when you let your temper fly. I’ve been training myself to think and move slowly when I’m weak but I didn’t have a handle on it today. I thought I was okay but issues were floating around back there in my subconscious so I wasn’t immediately aware of the stress. But I admit telling the woman that her house wasn’t shit felt good.