How do you react when a child starts repeating everything you say? You know, when they mimic you…mockingly? I’m not asking what you think, I know what you think. It’s what I often think.
You punk, you just wait. You think you’re sooo funny do you? Well you know what, you little jungli*? I have lived a life! A life you will live. Oh yes, my darling snot factory you’ll grow up and get that bony ass smacked by the weight of life! Life will end your hopes and dreams and I will watch! LIFE WILL BE YOUR TEACHER!
My screaming mind fills with such thoughts. I stand there, motionless, drooling slightly as I stare at the poop goblin. But that’s just me. Some people would take action by feebly explaining how naughty this behaviour is or chuckling halfheartedly along the with “little tyke” (sticky dirt magnet) or desperately pleading for the designated parent to come take their tantrum imp away.
The unbridled fury opens pathways to memories of my childhood. When that one kid would always torture me. Why her, why me? I never knew. She would repeat the last two words of everything I said in a deeper voice. Even when I was complimenting her! Why? I don’t know. It’s baffling behaviour when viewed through the lens of adulthood, yet I would often go home feeling awful about my mind, body and spirit.
When will this tedium end? I don’t even care about what she’s saying because it’s dumb. It’s so dumb! Why do I even care this much about it? She’ll learn. She’ll grow up and be a loser and I’ll be successful and then she’ll learn about life! LIFE WILL BE HER TEACHER!
My father would tell me to get over myself. Ah the bitterness of childhood.
But this post is not about hating children. It’s about hating yourself. And other humans.
Segue! I love trains. I think they are an interesting way for people to be anti-social together. Yet this perspective has, in the past, been marred by my overwhelming hatred of people. No not you reader. I love you. No I mean other people. You know the ones.
Case in point: the other day I was on my way to catch a train and found a person blocked my path. He was dressed informally and considerably larger than me. Physical altercation was not an option. For reasons of size and civility. I was trying to go up the steps from my left, as you should, and people alighting from the last train came down on my right.
I maintain I was dutifully following the rules, but I was outnumbered. And so what occurred was a ‘stare-off’ of about 4 seconds with my newly found nemesis. And when an individual twice your size has the higher ground, is looking at you like he wants to kill you and you actually need to reach your train you move. So I did. And it was working very well until he decided to shove me anyway… hard. Like.. he went out of his way. He side stepped specifically in order to connect his shoulder to my entire left side.
I did not fall. There were people everywhere and finding any ground to fall on would have been an accomplishment. I simply moved on. In my mind however…**
OOHHH you odious toad, you just wait. Yooou just wait. The world will not reward you. You will not gain from this. Yes, I may be stumbling but your whole life is one big grossly miscalculated stumble. You will fall far and hard. And I will watch you and your dead lizardy stare as the slow realisation dawns on you that you have no wings to flap, no strength to leap and no hope to grow. Yoou pillock! Life will fail you. LIFE WILL BE YOUR TEACHER!!!
It’s a non-issue of a situation, I realise. I was seething at him. Then later at myself. See the problem is not that I had to deal with a pillock. The problem is that I let it get to me. I let the child get to me, I let my childhood nemesis get to me. I let it get to me. Despite my awareness that my father was right all along, every variation of nemesis I have met has left me crippled with self-loathing. I am a firm believer that others don’t hurt your feelings, rather you let your feelings get hurt. Emotions must be within our own realm of control. (Assholes are still assholes though and should stop triggering bad feelings in others or bugger off. LIFE WILL BE THEIR TE-)
Yet I am still affected by these small moments. Losing the battle breeds insecurity in me I never thought I had. It took me over an hour to simmer down. And even then I decided to write a blog post about it! That was then updated in 20-bloody-20! This has happened many times and is likely to happen again. I don’t break down and cry (ahh the teenage years) but there is an inwardly directed force of hating myself for feeling things.
The problem with public transport is that simple snapshots of other peoples’ lives lead to us acting like jerks. I have thoughts and opinions. I am a complete individual. Yet all you see is my fleshy self hurrying to catch the train. Look at it from the pillock’s perspective, maybe his pet dog had died and I looked like the driver that had run her over. I don’t know! Maybe he lost his job or got some bad news. Maybe he’s wrestling with existential doubt. Maybe someone had shoved him and he was paying it forward with interest because he’s only human.
Perhaps I’m the one who needs to let go.
I feel bad now. I hope he’s okay.
Poor guy. I should’ve said sorry.
Wait, what ??
If you’re more an email person, join my mailing list. I post weekly-ish. I promise I won’t spam you.
Or read some recent posts that I am quite proud of:
- Do you ignore your tea until it gets cold?3 min quickie about when your tea goes cold. Heavy journalistic stuff. Proceed with caution.
- I took a week off work, but it didn’t change my life.5 min read about expecting too much from yourself because #alwaysbehustlin’
- My Sunday evening: doomscrolling, taking offense and yogaQuickie 2 min read about that dread you feel every Sunday evening.
- Was Valentine’s Day even relevant in the pandemic?Defending Valentine’s Day for 7 minutes straight. 7 mins of reading I mean.
- What school assignment still haunts you? Mine is the Tiger EssayGorgeous 10 min read about a formative childhood experience. With #siblinggoals
*jungli – Urdu/Hindi – (adjective) wild, like a wild animal. Often used by parents when yelling at their offspring.<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><em>**You are about to read a tantrum. This is an updated post. The previous version did not contain the following tantrum, but it did include an odd sentence in reference to weight that in hindsight, was fat-shamy and irrelevant to the objective of the post. So I have endeavoured to find ways to insult that are more inclusive. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/top-10-rare-and-amusing-insults-vol-1/pillock" target="_blank">Here is a list you might like</a>. Thank you.</em>