Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nowhere is safe.

A friend's daughter--a perfectly lovely and attractive person by anyone's measure--was standing in front of one of the campus buildings last weekend, waiting for her professor. This seems to me to be quite an honorable thing for a young person to be doing on a Sunday afternoon, and one would think, karmacally safe.

Suddenly, a car rounds the corner, driving much too fast. As it passes, an unknown female voice shouts, "You fat, stupid cow!" and the car speeds away.

My friend's daughter looks around, completely stunned, and I assume, praying that at least one other person is standing nearby so she can reassure herself that the insult was intended for someone else. It's already splashed up all over her; the most she can hope for at this point is a possible alternative target for the malicious stranger.

Unfortunately, the only other person in sight is a young man, leaning against the building and smoking a cigarette. She looks at him and he looks at her--for what feels like a very long time.

"Man, that's harsh," he finally says.

3 comments:

Jane who? said...

She told me later that she felt as though she had been shat upon by a large bird.

A very large, very unkind bird.

mj

Anonymous said...

Jane you and I both know she had. There are many cruel, inhumane people (birds)in this world anymore. Who is guilty of not raising these cruel ones with an understanding of human empathy? Are the parents doing this? Have they made these little monsters?

Jane who? said...

I tend to think that we're either talking about a particular type of bird that matures much later than most, or that it really was just a random event. For the most part, I don't believe people who act this way understand how hurtful such behavior can be (and they would have to recognize it as hurtful to be truly classifiable as evil monsters, wouldn't they).

Bottom line: Since we can't control other people's behavior, it makes more sense to work on recognizing our own value. Then it won't matter what is shouted at us from the dark interior of a passing car (or why it's being shouted).

I am certain that my friends' daughter is a happier and more fulfilled person than the one who was doing the shouting.

mj