We make eye contact on an elevator. We’ve seen each other before, and it wasn’t good that first meeting.
Let’s go back 2 weeks.
She had, in front of me, pushed past an old couple, nearly knocking them over, in order to do something or other behind both them and me. She had run into other people, a few of whom I was with, but she stopped in front of me, and tried to push by me. I stood stone still, and looked her in the eye. She looked past me, unwilling to look me in the eye, and I let her through.
I am not this idiots keeper.
Her daughter, ahead of me, and behind her at that point, mouthed something or other to the people I was with. She was young, brash, and a little stupid, but the excitable type. She decided to try to start a fight. She failed only because we are old enough to know better. Experience makes us strong enough to ignore trifles, but smart enough to know that a good swift kick in the ass is sometimes the best medicine. Since she only uses words, and small ones at that, we do the same. But the thought of kicking this loud-mouthed idiot child is an attractive one.
There are more of them than us, but we are larger and stronger. I, shortest of the adult males, is taller than the tallest male amongst them.
Fast forward 2 weeks.
We meet again. No words, I look her in the eye, we clearly recognize each other. She tries to repress a smile, and again cannot hold my gaze. But in my turn I cannot hold her gaze either. I don’t want to see anything good there, anything that I can like. We say nothing to each other. She turns, walks off of the elevator. I behind her. She moves fast, I purposefully give room on my left. Several people, whom she was with, the same crew she was with last time, pass me by. I stare angrily at each as they pass, as is my wont. They say nothing, and do not return the look.
They pass quickly, the little girl with the big mouth goes to say something, an older female speaks to her, she turns around, saying nothing more. Moving quickly they all perhaps 7 of them, pile into an oversized revolving door, and the thing jams. The people I am with, the same people as last time, giggle and call them idiots. These dumbasses can’t even walk through a door without fucking it up, we say to each other. Morons.
They look back, trying to look like they meant to make the door jam, trying to play it off. Failing as far as we are concerned, but if it helps them feel better about who they are, that’s fine with me. We wait until the revolving door un-jams itself, which it does after a few seconds.
We go our separate ways. Which is good for everyone involved.
Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours?
GK Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill
Viddy of the day: Take out the Earbuds: Have we Lost our Ability to Listen?
Pic of the day: Death of Marat, by Jacques-Louis David
That’s it from here, America. G’night.