Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

I was a jerk. (Stronger language follows.)

I was an asshole.

I then apologized for being an asshole.

That's been my morning. Here's more detail, because when I am a jerk, I need to own up to it, apologize for it, and repair any damage I might have done because of that:

Before 8:00, soon after I'd woken up, I was out walking: coat, sweatpants, boots, red wool cap. I'd reached Genie's at SE 11th and Division, where there's a Portland Mercury box because I'd wanted a copy. A woman riding her bike up Division rode up onto the sidewalk. I wasn't sure where to go; I shifted around a bit, then I stopped so I'd stop being a moving target. She rode past me, fairly close, and pulled up to the couple of doors in the middle of the building, the apartment entrance next to the Genie's entrance.

I got annoyed. (This partly explains why.) But: I got annoyed. I started arguing with her. "Don't ride on the sidewalk." "I wasn't." She'd only ridden the last few yards on the sidewalk. She said, "I was riding here." I said, "But don't do it on the sidewalk."

As she was about to unlock the door to Genie's, I did the jerk move. I scurried up to her.

"Don't crowd me," she said.

"I'm just on the sidewalk," I said, as blandly as I could manage.

"Get out of my personal space," she said.

I did.

"Fuck you," she said.

I walked away without saying anything, except to myself.

"Proud of yourself?" I said to myself.

I walked home, thinking. I kept thinking when I got home. And the thoughts kept boiling down to Proud of yourself?

After I showered and dressed, I did something. I wrote a note. I opened with "From the asshole in the yellow jacket this morning..." I followed that with "I was an asshole. I'm sorry." I wrote more, but that boils it down. Because I was an asshole, and she hadn't deserved that. And armed with that, I walked back up to Genie's.

I found her, apologized to her, and left the note. We spoke briefly. She appreciated that I was willing, to her face, to apologize. She also didn't do what was within her rights, which would've been to say Don't come here anymore. I knew that that was a possibility -- the We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone signs are in businesses for a reason -- and I hoped it wouldn't come to that, but if it did, I wouldn't really have much basis to complain. I like Genie's, and go there when I can, but if I make people uncomfortable there, then I'd keep being an asshole.

When I go back there, I'll be able to look people in the eye.

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