Friday, July 10, 2009

The Face of Evil

It is always depressing when the existence of evil is proven. Yesterday, I experienced it once again (perhaps you will remember the first time that I recognized the presence of evil in my own life and saw it [and felt it] first hand, when a guy sort of assaulted me on Halloween. I have never seen such anger in someone’s eyes. When I confronted a warring couple in an apartment building hallway, the guy turned around, shouted “Fuck you, you fucking German!” [Oh yeah, did I mention I was wearing Lederhosen? I chuckled at his observation], came at me and then just pushed me up against a wall. Channeling my inner Bruce Lee [complete with three weeks of Kempo training and a knack for first person shooters], I pulled off an impressive swim move and swatted his arms off my chest. Unfortunately, I jammed my thumb doing it—the only lasting physical wound of the encounter.)

I was on the 2 train, on my way to work, with my gym bag wrapped around my arm and my man-bag thrown over my shoulder. I refuse to wear sunglasses on the train (and roll my eyes at those who do. Honestly, do you not notice every single other person not wearing them? No, you chose to single yourself out. Congrats, you regular ol’ James Dean you! Show those florescent lights who’s boss! Dumbass. And never, NEVER, hit on a person who is wearing sunglasses. This is one of my golden rules, and if you learn one thing from my meanderings, it is to never court a person wearing sunglasses. Granted, many people can look quite attractive in sunglasses {few sunglasses properly fit my Jupitorian head} but pity those who approach these veiled beauties, because I bet you that 9 times out of 10, that veil is hiding something that really should remain hidden. Especially in conditions when sunglasses are irrelevant, just keep moving. Don’t open Pandora’s Box, because once the curtains are drawn aside, the freak show takes the stage.) and choose instead to have my sunglasses dangle from my chest pocket. It seems more safari-like to me, like something Hemingway or the hunter-guy from Jurassic Park would do. Putting them inside the pocket is one step away from a pocket protector, and putting them in my man-bag runs the risk of unintentionally crushing them. No, “the dangle” is Romantic and fashionable. I chose you.

Somewhere downtown, a group of maybe ten or eleven Spanish 12-14 year olds came on the train, obviously on a vacation in New York City. They were boisterous. They were loud. They were kind of annoying. Granted. A few stops later, some wonderfully pleasant, cheery, beautiful woman with great teeth and obviously well educated enters the train and insightfully exclaims, “Wha da fuck is goin on here?” She starts moving through the train, pushing the children out of her way. “Scuse me, scuse me. Goddammit. Wha da fuck?” This most blessed woman then starts proclaiming aloud, “These fucking people from otha countries… don’t know what the fuck they’re doin. I’ll slap the shit outta them. Yeah you,” she points at a skinny girl of about 13 years, “I’ll slap the shit outta you.” She then turns to some spineless excuse for a human, who nods his head like an idiot just because she is talking out loud, “They come here and don’t know wha da fuck they’re doin.” Dicko just keeps nodding his head.

I go into overdrive. If this woman slaps this girl, I mean, if she actually slaps a little girl, I have no idea what I am going to do to her. She cannot be allowed to slap this kid. That cannot happen while I am sitting across from her. I’d fucking kill myself. I start formulating emergency contingency plans: With cat-like reflexes I stand up, seize her hand in mid air as it is about to strike (give it a second for the drama to sink in) and then demand in a stern Austrian accent “Sit down before I make you sit down.” She is stunned into awed silence, falls back trembling onto the hard blue plastic bench, takes out a worn prayer book, crosses herself, and happily offers stale vanilla wafers that she produces from beneath her shawl to the cheering children, only to, caught up in the moment, pop open the aged plastic wrap in a fit of joyous excitement, sending the cracker crumbles catapulting into the air in a festive firework display of vanilla goodness. The children cheer in unison and pat me admiringly on the back, shouting “Viva el guapo! Gracious senor!” Just then a camera crew bursts on the subway and flashes a spotlight on my still perspiring face. A recently showered Emilio Estevez thrusts an arm through the crowd of reporters, pushes a microphone in my face and shouts “How’d you do it?” Out of breath, assuming the role of the everyman, I humbly admit, “I couldn’t have done it without my Wheaties!” SNAP! Pull back and reveal my face emblazoned on the Wheaties box, high fiving Michael Jordan in our matching Hanes underwear, with the old woman actually physically cleaning her laundry on my tan washboard abs…

In reality, I said to the kids, in Spanish, that she is not important and “bienvenido a Nueva York.” I am not sure if sarcasm translates well, but they seemed to get a kick out of it.

The lady continues hurling invectives at the now mocking children. One especially bright and brave girl is translating all the insults this woman utters for her friends, complete with an impressive mimicry of vocal inflection. The woman has no idea. She is just mumbling to herself and talking to Dicko. The kids alternate between stunned silence and fits of the giggles. I try to comfort them with rolls of my eyes and offering my seat to them. I put my butt in the woman’s face (the most action she’s had since Procol Harem’s farewell tour) and physically prevent her from continuing her thoughtless diatribe.

I realize this old woman with no teeth was insane. I realize that if I said something, I would have provoked her and she probably would have slapped one of those girls. She was North Korea, and I was wearing a man-bag. Nothing I could have said would have shut her up. It doesn’t take away from the fact that this witch was evil and threatening young children. Now, the argument can be made that since she was crazy, she wasn’t evil. She didn’t know better. Wrong, I say. Evil does not need to be a logical or coherent decision. It can exist and manifest itself through the most perverted of life forms and it is still evil. History teaches us that. And oh yeah, she hates freedom. She hates our way of life. She wants to put food on her family.

Dammit, I’ve gone and done it again. I’ve contradicted myself. Whatever.

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