Monday, April 23, 2012

Pessimist for a Day

I'm fortunate. I'm eternally optimistic about the nature and future of man. It's just the way I'm programmed, I guess.

Oh sure, I can get beat down about lots of the ugly stuff in the world: crime, greed, terrorism, people who think Kathy Griffin is funny, etc., but for the most part, when I cross paths with people, I expect them to be good-hearted folk looking to make it through their day in the most civil manner possible.

This is foolish. This is naive. And this is also a good way to be let down. An optimist can only be disappointed, while a pessimist can expect the worse, and be pleasantly surprised when a random act of kindness is encountered.

This morning, I saw an act of human behavior so vile and base that it upset me all day.

I was filling up my gas tank at the Midtown Shell Mart at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Hawley Road. This station is just south a little bit from the Badger Association of the Blind. It's common to see visually impaired people in this area and today was no different.

As I was standing between the gas pump and my vehicle, I noticed a blind man walk out of the store and make his way across the blacktop tapping his cane to the left, to the right and back again. I wasn't paying attention to him as he made his way in front of an SUV that was fueling up on the opposite side of my pump, but shortly after he made his way past the vehicle's front bumper, the rear window rolled down and a thug yelled at the blind man.

"Watch where you're going with that stick or you'll fall on your God-damn face, bitch!" they shouted then rolled up the window.

I was shocked and appalled. If I could make my eyes vaporize this worthless dreck of human flesh into the ionosphere I would have. Thank goodness for him that's not one of my super powers.

The blind fellow no doubt heard this. He was only about 10 feet away -- about the same distance I was from the perpetrator -- but he continued his even pace towards the intersection.

I glanced into the SUV only to get a stare shot right back at me. Sheepishly, I went back to my business as I don't think thug-face would have thought twice about popping a cap in my skull if I pressed the matter.

Made worse was the fact that there was a small girl in the vehicle -- I'd guess about 3 years old, with no car seat. This child does not stand a chance.

What was in it for this person to say such a abhorrent thing?

I'm in complete amazement when I see visually-impaired citizens making their way through the city independently when I, with all my faculties fully intact, am growing increasingly frightened of doing it myself. Can you imagine the type of person who could witness this feat and then shout out a comment as loathsome as the one above?

I cannot. We live among savages. My dog's a better person than that. Many dogs are, considering how many are trained to help the blind.

I am sorry if this post was upsetting. I promise, I'll shake it off by tomorrow morning, but on Monday, April 23, 2012, allow me to be a pessimist for a day.

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