I am dumping the kitchen trash and engaged in superficial chat with another resident where I live, our trash dumping task converged on the same moment. The bin chute is held open when a woman wearing an attractive light summer mid length printed green dress approaches brusquely and taking advantage of the bin chute door held open she tosses her own small light bag of paper trash between us spins around and departs without speaking a word or even acknowledging our presence.
I had enough of this. It’s not the first time she’s been this rude. As she is about to open another door and enter, from a short distance behind before she goes in I raise my voice so she cannot avoid me without actually yelling and demand from her an explanation. “Why do you behave so rudely?” She heard me and she realized she cannot just be rude and escape as she has before. Instead of speaking to me she sets her fingertips to her mouth and flicks her hand downward. I read that as telling me she cannot speak. Avoidance again. I snap back in sign, “you rude me why” each signal chopped declarative and interrogative combined. Game up.
She tells me. In whispered voice that I cannot make out. I still don't know what she tells me. She is hesitant in saying whatever it is that she has on her mind. Unsure of my response. I say aloud indicating my irritation, “What? I can’t hear you. Please repeat what you just said and be clear.” She does repeat what she said but infuriatingly in the same lowered voice and I still cannot hear her. She has something to say to me, something she wants me to know. I offend her gravely in some way but she is unsure about challenging me with it. She wants me to figure this out on my own and correct my behavior without discussion. I’m supposed to read her mind by her rude behavior toward me. She is acting out, communicating through rude behavior that I am somehow rude to her. At that moment I honestly wish she would have stuck with sign and give me a chance at comprehension. She slips away again.
Shortly after, not long at all, another young woman who I don’t know behaves similarly. I do not let this one get by. I really am tired of this odd behavior that’s spreading so uncharacteristic for the place where I live. Are these two together, or what? I trap her and demand an answer. She does answer directly sputtering, “um um um um um um um um um.” She has something important on her mind that she really does want to say but she cannot get it out of her mouth. He own propriety does not allow it. It’s useless. Just go away.
Within minutes a young male does the exact same thing and this time I get a bit rough with him. He is a gentle person and I’ve had it up to my ears with all this incomprehensible passive aggression demonstrated all at once. I physically stop him and demand that he answer my question why are all of you behaving so strangely, so rudely? He tries to answer but his own rules of engagement prevent him and he’s reduced to the exact same stuttering as the female in yellow. He sound ridiculous muttering, “um um um um um,” he managed to choke out, “ you keep posting everything.”
That it? That’s what all this is about?
So what! Big deal. That’s stupid. It’s what I do. That’s ordinary. No cause for offense. If you clumsily painted your lips blue then I’d write, hey this guy painted his lips blue.
My attention diverted momentarily and in that moment he produced liquid blue and squirted it at the corner of his eye veritably covering half of his face clumsily as a child might apply makeup wholly wrongly. It was funny. Hilarious actually. I laughed at the sight of his face drizzled with cobalt blue and he laughed at my laughing at at his own cleverly quick and appropriate response. He actions said what his words could not say. He turned his body 180˚ so his back is turned to me but instead of walking away like the others he stepped backward pressing into my body aggressively and I was surprised to actually feel the contours of his body fit mine at every point of contact like two LEGOS set pressed together. We are kindred! Awareness of that was shocking. Through the doorway an entire class of youths appeared, they witnessed the whole episode. For some reason they applauded. The whole class had already been discussing this issue concerning all three.
I woke up. That was a dream! The second of two, the one that concluded more pleasantly.
KNOCK IT OFF, CHIP! What is this blog, a dream journal, or what? Your own personal self-administered psychoanalysis session?
Um um um um um, why yes, yes it is. I suppose. For the nonce, at least.
The first one was worse. A lot worse, involving public nudity in increasing increments of apprehension and dread to the point of slamming awake to escape the miserable experience. I should be thanked for sparing the colorful details and I suspect the theme quite common and familiar.
Hey, Colin Kaepernick, whoever he is, has his issues and I got mine as you have yours. I’d be satisfied to hear them.