Brett Rants

Anger Mode

Circa Past Tense

From The Bridge in Lincoln Park overlooking The Lagoon and The Skyline of The City of Chicago beyone, it is a postcard quality image... in my ever so humble opinion, this is not the location of said event, for one thing, this particular bridge is pedestrian only

A Little [Redacted] History

I got into an altercation [some time ago]. Me and another human being ([a gender identifier] to be precise) were yelling at each other, posturing, behaving badly, and acting like fools. And I, for one, would like to apologize for my role in the proceedings. Perhaps if I had [unknown preferred pronoun's] (forthwith shortened to pronoun's]) phone number (or even knew who [pronoun] was), I would give a call and apologize. As it is, I do not even know who [pronoun] was, would not be able to recognize [pronoun] in a line-up, and in the future will only be able to recognize [pronoun] (positively with conviction) if [pronoun] recognizes me {which just so happens to be one of my my preferred first person pronouns} first.

This document is to serve three purposes:
  1. As an apology
  2. As a historical record
    • One does not know how crazy [pronoun] is.
    • But I will take it on faith that one does, indeed, know how crazy I am.
  3. As a play-book for behaving better in the future

The Facts

I {another one of my preferred first person pronouns} was walking down the street with [unnamed other(s)]. It was a good walk. [Shared pronouns] {as actual pronoun preference is unknown} were having a good time. [Pronouns] came to the cut in front of [location] and I knew the [vehicle] was trouble, that I shouldn't go, that I wouldn't have gone had I been alone, but I walked in front of said [vehicle], anyway. That was my first mistake. Too often, I walk differently with others than by myself. This must stop.

As I passed the [vehicle], it {being what I shall assume is [the preferred pronoun] for inanimate objects} started to roll forward. So, let's be clear. While I was still in front of the [vehicle], it started to move. Let's restate that. The driver {as I shall assume the vehicle did not take independent action of its own accord} knowingly and willingly entered an intersection while a pedestrian was in what amounted to a crosswalk. I believe that's against the law. I stopped. The [vehicle] cruised by. Behaving foolishly (doing one of the things I now regret and vow NOT to do again), I lightly tapped on the [vehicle] as it drove by. I tapped lightly, two fingers, outstretched, no desire of damage, elbow bent, maybe a foot away, maybe a foot and a half, I would find it hard to believe the [vehicle] was much further away than that (maybe closer, maybe much closer). The [vehicle] filled my mind. It was, I remember thinking, like watching an iceberg {though, the exact word I used at the time was glacier} drifting by, and I reached out and touched it.

*Tap. Tap. Tap.*

And the [vehicle] had passed by.

{As an odd bit of Memory Management, whenever I recall this scene, I recall the [vehicle] passing by prior to my crossing the walk. But the entirety of the scene does not make sense unless I was almost through the walk.

So, the events are:
The [vehicle] was literally inches away. If I had leaned in, I would have brushed against it. If I had stepped forward, my foot would have been crushed. I sort of remember one of the reasons I tapped the [vehicle] was because I had moved my hands out of the way... and there they were now, so close to the [vehicle]...

*Tap. Tap. Tap.*

The [vehicle] was so close, it was surreal.

Of course, to be fair, it was moving at a snail's pace on account of traffic.

[Location] is a highly impacted traffic nexus and a stretch of pavement I abhorred crossing for that very reason. Impatient motorists in a traffic jam do not take kindly to delays of any sort and will fight for their place in line... or so has been my experience.}

I can't say I remember the exact chronology of what happened next. [Pronoun] probably stopped. I probably turned to walk away, continue on. One or the other, which was first, I know not. At some point a few feet away, I felt the need to explain (in colorful language) why I had tapped on [pronoun's] [vehicle]. I still didn't know [pronoun] was a [pronoun] yet. Actually, I was talking to the [vehicle]. I was relating to it as a [vehicle]. I was talking as a person who believes their words will not be heard, as a driver might talk in traffic, cursing the unseen and unknown motorist ahead.

I explained, yelling out, it was a windy day, and when my memory sets the scene in time, I was a good twenty feet away, so I yelled “[pronoun] almost ran me over, [pronoun] [colorful slur]," or something to that effect. Clearly, at this removal in time ([superfluous time stamp]), I do not remember specific phrases, just general intents and feels.

If I had to do it again, I would have kept on walking, jumped out of the way, never tapped on the [vehicle], certainly not yelled out, and most decidedly not used any [colorful slurs] while voicing my disapproval. But such is the wisdom of [temporal displacement].

From [pronoun's] point of view (I am certain), some [banal slur] had just banged on [pronoun's] [vehicle] (I will put forth that I merely tapped on [vehicle part] and [vehicle part] little harder than anyone might do as a request for attention). And then, I started yelling [colorful slurs] {and/or [highly accurate descriptions] considering the circumstances} at [pronoun]. [Pronoun] stopped [pronoun's] [vehicle], got out, and challenged me to a fight, certainly to come back to where [pronoun] was and repeat what I'd just said. There was much swaggering, much bravado. I believe [pronoun's] intent (in all honesty {conviction assured}) was to either fight or convince me of [pronoun's] desire to fight. I will happily call [pronoun's] actions at this point Assault. True, I am no lawyer. I don't know the legalities of it all. But I do believe [pronoun] was threatening me with physical violence and bodily harm, which was something I never did to [pronoun] {for whom a [colorful slur] does seem appropriate at this juncture} throughout our entire exchange. [Pronoun] yelled. [Pronoun] challenged. I repeated my line, “[pronoun] almost ran me over. That's why I knocked on [pronoun's] [gratuitous slur of a] [vehicle]," or maybe I said "tapped", or just "[vehicle]" without any [gratuitous slur]. It would be foolish to claim exact knowledge at this remove.

[pronoun] took a step toward me.

I held up my phone and offered to call the police. “If [pronoun] come any closer, I'm calling the cops. [pronoun] almost ran me over." I may have been unfair in my description of the danger I was in, but not how I felt. I have given this exchange much (much-much-much) thought over the [intervening time span]. And I liken my experience to being at a firing range and someone shooting their gun while [pronoun] {so, it could be me, you, or somebody else} is still downrange (a safety violation) or starting up a bulldozer and moving the bucket, while [pronoun] is still standing in front of said bulldozer gathering up [pronoun's] shovel and gear, preparing to move out of the way (an action which is, also, a safety violation in addition to being a good way to get fired). It was wrong of [pronoun]. It put me in danger. I was concerned for my life and limb (mostly my limb and mostly in an abstract sense, as I live in a world where the safety protocols protecting a pedestrian in a crosswalk are completely and utterly ignored by almost everyone).

In short, I wasn't really being reasonable. [Pronoun] was yelling. I was yelling, threatening to call the cops, offering to call the cops if [pronoun] had a problem, advising that I would call the cops if [pronoun] came any closer, while backing up, walking away slowly (oh, yes I was), while traffic backed up. And after looking around, before getting all the way around [pronoun's] [vehicle] (before getting around {i.e. removing} the protection of [pronoun's] [vehicle], I might add), [pronoun] decided to get back into [pronoun's] [vehicle] and drive away.

{Extraneous [slurs] added after the fact (and during the edits), so as to illustrate the fact that [pronoun] is a [slur].}

The Action Continues

[Pronoun] drove away.

I nearly forgot about [pronoun], which isn't correct. But when [pronoun] appeared again at the next corner, I was completely surprised.

Anyhow, before [pronouns {inclusive of the reader and/or characters in the story} get there {to this point in my tale of woe}, I should have apologized while [pronouns] {inclusive of only the characters in the story} were yelling at each other. In fact, at every point, I should have apologized. If I am to get into a fight, knifed in the street, or shot at random, I don't want it to be because I was rude... or failed to apologize when the inevitable happens (and I am rude, inadvertently or otherwise). I should have apologized. It makes no difference that at this point I believe I broke no law ([extraneous commentary omitted]), while to my litigious mind, [pronoun]was as guilty as sin, having already committed such Criminal Offences as:
  1. Reckless Driving
  2. Reckless Endangerment
    • Yes, I am inflating
  3. Entering an Intersection while a Pedestrian was in the Crosswalk
  4. Assault
    • Which I believe is the correct term for one person offering to beat up another
Anyway {whatever and/or to reiterate}, I should have never used bad language. I must cure myself of this habit. I should not have walked differently with others than I do by myself. A change in protocol is never a good idea. I should have stopped and let [pronoun] pass. I knew [pronoun] was in a hurry. I should not have tapped on [pronoun's] [vehicle]... unless I wanted to fight or call the police or whatever. I didn't want either of these things, so I should have never touched the [vehicle]. And finding myself in a yelling match, I should have apologized.

At the end of the block, the parking lot is fenced and the street rises a good ten feet above the pavement below. I wonder how things would have turned out if the geography had been different? I wonder if [pronoun] would have been so keen to continue with it all? I like to think I wouldn't have forgotten about [pronoun], stopped tracking [pronoun's] progress if the terrain had not been so condusive to defence.

[Pronoun] parked, somewhere. I should have taken pictures of [pronoun]. All I have is the back of [pronoun's] head, revealing [pronoun's] general [body shape], haircut, clothing style, and so on.

[Pronoun] came to the bottom of the fence. Once again, thirty, forty feet apart, but completely separated by the landscape. Either of [shared pronouns] would have had to walk two to three hundred feet {or more} along a raised cyclone fence to get to the other. It felt like so much posturing.

I believe [pronoun] threatened, offered, suggested, that [pronoun] walk around and [pronouns] engage in the fisty-cuffs. Once, again, I don't know the exact wording. Certainly, [pronoun] was trying to bait me.

I rejected [pronoun's] offer, informed that I would call the cops if [pronoun] started walking around ('came up here'), and reiterated that [pronoun] had 'almost run me over'. After a [timespan's] reflection, I can't put any faith in that statement. [Pronoun] had come too close for my comfort and most definitely broken the law (in my ever so humble opinion). But [pronoun] had passed by without hitting me. So, saying [pronoun] almost hit me is a bit of an exaggeration. Still, I said it. {And for the most, this is simply a deconstruction of what [exactly] one might mean by the word 'almost'.}

[Pronoun] called me a [slur] for not wanting to fight. And I informed [pronoun] that [pronoun] was the [same slur] for fearing the retribution [pronoun] most surely would receive if the police were to be called and responded to my summons.

Yeah, I was right in that [pronoun] probably would have been arrested. Assault, have I mentioned the Assault? But to some degree it was a bluff. I had behaved poorly and had added contributing stupidity (or whatever [pronoun] wants to call it), as tapping on [pronoun's] [vehicle] (if not illegal) was certainly stupid. And I had called [pronoun] on [pronoun's] careless actions in obvious disrespect for human life. Stupid? Check. Illegal? I really don't know. But close enough in my heart that I have no wish to find out. Still, nothing {on my side} compared to [pronoun's] Assault. And if I said some naughty words ([a litany of example slurs]), I can assure [pronoun]: [pronoun] met me tit-for-tat.

[Redaction of Spurious Analysis]

Still, I should have apologized.

It really would have been a great place to apologize when [pronouns] met again on either side of the fence facing each other. Something along the lines of, "I'm sorry. I find walking around as a pedestrian with [vehicles] coming inches from my feet very stressful. But I behaved poorly. I acted like an idiot. I am sorry. I had no real comprehension that [pronoun] could hear what I was saying when I started yelling. I was dealing with my own fear and insecurity and it had nothing to do with [pronoun]. I apologize most sincerely for bringing [pronoun] into it."

And then, although I'd had my phone out the entire time, I'd never actually bothered to take a picture (another thing I'm going to have to practice and start doing reflexively). So, [an unnamed other] took out [unnamed other's] camera, held it up nice and high, and started to record.

Perhaps [shared pronouns] had said what [shared pronouns] needed to say; and thereby, proving neither was scared of the other.

Undoubtedly, [pronoun] would have kicked my [language]. And then, spent the next six years in jail, while fighting my personal injury lawsuit.

But all that matters not, because at that point, [pronoun] quickly turned around and walked away. Judging from the lone picture [shared pronouns] have, [pronoun] is quite the physical specimen. Not muscles on muscles. But athletic enough that if [pronoun] truly was the violent type, [pronoun] would have destroyed me, all the more so, since if [pronoun] had attacked, it would have shown that [pronoun] was the type of person who attacks. Whereas, I am the type of person that runs away.

The End Game

Have I apologized enough?

If I meet [pronoun] again and if [pronoun] recognizes me, as I believe that will be the only way, as my eyes are such I would never pick [pronoun] out of a line-up nor recognize [pronoun's] face in a crowd, just the general type, feel...

But if [pronoun] were to recognize me, call me on my [language], I would apologize.

Seriously, if I have my wits about me, I shall apologize.

'I'm sorry. I behaved poorly. There is no excuse. But I hope [pronoun] can accept my apology.'

If a further explanation is in order, perhaps something along the lines of "It wasn't [pronoun]. I was reacting to every vehicle that has denied me the right of way, that has pitted their multi-ton vehicle, against my very fragile legs. It scares me to walk in front of [vehicles]. I was expressing my fear. I apologize for expressing it in such a personal manner. I was wrong. I behaved poorly. Please forgive me."

Of course, the real fear, perhaps the real reason I write at [some undetermined time later] is because an apology might not be good enough. Perhaps [pronoun] is crazy or I will act stupidly, as [shared pronouns] have both shown our respective potential for craziness and stupidity. And as such, [pronoun] will not see reason.

I have daydreamed about fighting in self-defense, getting the better of [pronoun], and killing [pronoun]. But that is not the first option, nor the last.


When that doesn't work (but I certainly hope that it does), I should proceed to back away slowly, while apologizing, and advise [pronoun] of my fear. And if that fear is ignored, yell loudly for assistance.
"Call 911!"
"[Computer Assistant], Call 911!"
And then, proceed to find a security guard and/or duck into a crowded building. But I suppose it matters where this {a counter-factual future, if ever I saw one} all takes place.

Or perhaps, I should simply run away {as fast as my spindly little legs will carry me}.

But I shall take No Offensive Measures... unless there really is no other choice. If I run and [pronoun] follows, I shall turn before I run out of breath. And I shall go for the kill. At that point, what else can be [pronoun's] motive? No sane person hunts down another, days after the fact, for a mere traffic altercation, an exchange of angry words.

So, that is the fear, part of the reason I write.

But I am sorry.

I truly am.

I do not want this in my life.

I have thought about this (and little else) for [some time span]. And I can assure [pronoun], I consider it a complete waste of time... except to the extent I can learn from it and avoid anything like it in the future.

I am [age].

I have such a long ways to go until I finally become a man.

But fighting other people in the street over minor traffic altercations is not a stop on that path: never has been and never will be.

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