Thursday, June 16, 2011
Every Obscenity and Hate-Filled Invective
And we have I, on the opposite side (subtle Paul Revere reference for those of you who, unlike me, did not have to memorize the poem in 5th grade or so ["And I on the opposite shore will be, ready to rise and to spread the alarm, through every Middlesex village and farm"]). Transfixed. Want to keep moving. But can't. Can't imagine (or can) what might happen next. "Please stop," I yell. He doesn't.
Finally, the tormented one takes the bait. So here comes another slight, skinny white boy up the sidewalk, matching insult with insult. He's with two girls, but the girls hang back. The first guy's friends stay put, neither interfering nor encouraging. Oh, I wish I had my phone.
The two boys circle each other. The second boy's friends leave. The tennis players play. I wonder if these boys know how to fight. I wonder if they've ever fought before. Finally, the second boy runs at the first boy.
"Stop," I yell. "Hey, stop." I won't take credit for this, but they do stop and look over at me, and the second boy drags himself away, an impressive display of self-control, I think, but yelling threats as he does.
"That's the stupidest thing I ever heard," the first boy says (referring to the threats).
"And that's the stupidest thing I ever saw," I yell.
So the first boy looks at me and tells me to mind my own business, which is a pretty stupid thing to say, as he's made this everybody's business.
I'm tempted to cross the street, get more involved, but decide no . . . time to move on. When I'm a few blocks away, a police car comes speeding up the street, lights flashing, siren beeping, stops at the high school, right at that corner beside the tennis courts (thank goodness; someone else called). But I'm too far past to see whether the sad, stupid, rage-filled boy is still there. Ugh. Ugh. Ugly.