Image Description: a blue glove with a different feeling face on each of the finger tips and thumb.
I felt what I felt but I didn’t know if I should have felt what I felt but, nevertheless, I felt it anyways. Part of me knew that feeling the way I was feeling wasn’t the right feeling to have in the situation but that didn’t stop me from feeling what I was feeling.
I felt caught.
Joe and I made had just turned east on Bloor when we stopped, chatted, and decided to turn back to the corner and cross over to the north side.
But I began to back up to turn round and go the way we’d freshly decided to go.
I was only seconds into the backing up process when a woman, who is ‘known’ in the area as someone who has difficulty with mental health, noticed me backing up.
And she began to shout, as loud as she could.
“STOP!! HE’S BACKING UP. MAKE ROOM. MAKE ROOM. MAKE ROOM. HE’S BACKING UP. HE’S BACKING UP. STOP!! MAKE ROOM. MAKE ROOM!”
I was mortified.
I don’t like attention drawn to me that way.
I didn’t need the help.
I knew instantly that she was trying to do something nice. She was trying to help me out. I knew that her motives were really good.
But I kept thinking. “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”
I wasn’t close enough to her to speak to her and tell her ‘thanks but I don’t need help.’
I would have had to holler at her and I don’t think she would have heard me over her own shouting.
I felt angry.
I felt frustrated.
I felt really, really annoyed.
I wanted her to “Shut up.”
Even though I knew, in my mind, that she was trying to help. I hated the scene that was being made.
I hated feeling centred out. I hated being the incident that people would talk about when they got home.
And I was angry with her.
I know that I need to be understanding. I know that she has her way of being in the world and I have my way of being in the world.
I know that we both have a right to public space and that we have a right to be how we are in public space. I know all that.
But I didn’t like what she did.
And it made me angry.
It may be wrong.
It may be unkind.
But that’s how I felt.
I’m not sure what I should have felt …