It’s funny indeed how life sometimes follows art, and blogposts.
The day after my previous post, I was walking down my local main-street when, for the first time in ages, I saw a local nemesis coming my way.
I don’t know his name or his background, but I don’t care – because for the past few years, all I have ever seen him do is ask passers-by for money, sometimes stepping right in people’s paths to do so. He is a pest and nothing more.
Several years ago when I first encountered him, before therapy and medication, I would nervously hurry past and reply with a timid “No, sorry” while seething with anger inside.
After I began therapy and medication and my life started to improve, his continuing annoyances made me angrier. As a result, I went through a brief period of responding to him with either a harsh “Piss off!” or “Fuck off!” – to which he’d respond with “You fuck off!” or once with “Yeah, I’ll fight ya!” (although he didn’t).
Venting like that did feel good – but my psychiatrist advised me to stop doing it, though, because it had the potential to make things uglier. Which was fair enough, so I changed to just responding with a curt “No.”
During the past few months, I have encountered him less and less, and I had hoped he had gone for good somewhere else – but every now and then, he would reappear.
And last Sunday, unfortunately, here he was again, about twenty-five metres ahead and coming straight towards me (after he’d unsuccessfully asked two passing young women for money).
Inwardly, I groaned – but, I maintained my course.
He kept coming towards me.
A moment later, I passed a set of traffic lights where people were crossing – and I did turn my head to look and see if there was time for me to cross as well.
But not only was the don’t-walk symbol already flashing, I quickly told myself that suddenly crossing the street would look exactly like what it was – chickenshit.
So I turned forward again, took a breath, and maintained my course.
He kept coming towards me.
I looked straight ahead past him.
My left eyelid started to itch.
I wondered if I should scratch it, which would mean taking off my glasses and possibly leaving me at a short-sighted advantage as he came closer.
I thought fuck it and fuck him, and as we kept walking towards each other I took off my glasses, scratched my eyelid and replaced my glasses.
A moment later, he was finally there, not quite standing in my path and beginning his usual bullshit-pathetic spiel of “”Excuse me, can you please spare some change – “
I walked right on past, kept my head up and my shoulders straight, didn’t make eye-contact at all, and said nothing.
Inside, I was angry and nervous.
But, he said nothing after me (or if he did, I didn’t hear it).
And a few moments later, as he dropped further behind, I relaxed.
Another day, another small victory for myself.