They saw me but didn’t move. I asked them, politely, if I could get by. They looked at me like I was shit on their shoes and carried on chatting indicating that this space belonged to them, not to me or those like me. They were those that the whole world was in the realm of ‘mine not yours.’
I took the time to look at them, recognizing that books can’t be judged by the character of the person carrying them, and saw two studiously ‘cool’ people. Great hair cuts, hers a deep burgundy and this tinged with a cobalt blue were star attractions but their clothes were funky in an expensive kind of way. Their who presentation screamed, “We’re kooky and we’re kool and we’re the kids to know!” They’d worked hard at their look.
I needed to get by, there was no other accessible way to the barber’s so I asked again if they could just make room for me to get by. Again they looked down on me, both literally and figuratively. Then, I spoke, having had enough time to think, “You know what cooler than you? Kindness. You dress well but you’re just assholes in costume.” And then I started to push and they were require to move.
They called me a name or two.
I said, over my shoulder, “Thanks for proving my point, bullies never really do grow up do they.”
The bully comment hit, probably harder than I’d intended. They look mortified and angry and fled the scene of the ‘mine.’ I felt a twinge of guilt, and then suddenly, didn’t any more. I tire of the burden of caring for the feelings of those who care nothing for mine.