It doesn’t hurt me.
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know that it doesn’t hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making?
You, it’s you and me.
And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
– Kate Bush: Running up that hill (a deal with God)
I do not know if you are this nasty to everyone. My suspicion, though, is that – like every bully I have ever encountered (and from whom, ironically, I have learned some indispensable life-lessons) – you saw me parked there, with my Blue Badge, in the Disabled parking space, and simply marked me out as defenceless: someone who would (or could) not fight back against your customary, coarse, crude cant; your recurrent torrent of stunted invective; your pathological fist in my face; your visceral urge to beat me to a pulp. Probably, my refusal to engage you, to engage with you – and my constant expression of dumbfounded bemusement (a defence mechanism of sorts – although I will admit that such spitefulness did take me by surprise: most folk, I have found, are deserving of their space on our tiny planet…) – only aggravated you more: as I was not willing to play along with your stinted, spiteful expectation of a script; nor reward your nonexistent insight, your self-evident innate insecurity.
I am glad, though, that I riled you – at the time – at least as much as you riled me; that, once the onlookers had dispersed, you felt compelled to return and resume your tyranny: because I had not given you the demeaning satisfaction that obviously motivates you. I am sad, though, for the disruption you caused to those other people’s lives: both that they had to witness your attack on me (although one was gracious, then, to offer compassionate support – something I cannot imagine you are capable of comprehending); and that you then took your pathetic impotence out on those who hindered your deranged exit from the scene. I can only hope that you did no more physical or psychological damage once out of sight.
As it is unlikely that you will ever read this (or understand it), I can be pretty certain that you will never gloat over my solitary sleepless night, caused by the traumatic resurrection of submerged spectres; nor the pain that presently haunts the gnawed, raw hollow within. That would no doubt encourage you to endlessly repeat your tiny-minded rituals on those less able to cope. (Once I have published this, though, I will, as they say, sleep like a babe: confident of my moral victory.)
I know I should pity you for your tantrums. A grown man should have more control over his immaturity, his inner, infantile demons. But I do not feel sorry for you in any way. I sympathize with those who know you better (or more thoroughly, should I say) than I; who have to live with such a poor, domineering representative of the human race – that is, of course, should anyone be foolish enough to be in your solipsistic presence for more than a few moments – but all I actually wish for you is two things. The first such hope – from the deep dark side that most of us learned to curb in childhood – is that you would simply vanish from existence, instantly: causing no collateral damage to anyone or anything; nor impinging on their memories. The second is that, one day soon, you find yourself forced uncomfortably into the same sharp corner you tried – but failed – to terrorize me into. I am not convinced, though, that you have one neuron of empathy within you. You are obviously too accustomed to instantly wielding the only weapon in your arsenal – that of thuggish belligerence – to always try to get what you want (however petty); and in response to anything that thwarts the meanness of your paltry reality.
If you do read this, please know that I have reported you to the Police: that your behaviour has been classed as a ‘hate crime’ against the disabled. Whether or not they take my complaint seriously may depend, I accept, on a number of factors. However, please also know that composing my account for them helped me regain both my composure and the self-belief I had felt falling from between my shaking fingers like so many grains of burning sand. Even if they take action, I acknowledge, somewhat dejectedly, that your demeanour is unlikely to alter: that your behaviour stems from a narrowness of emotion and meagreness of imagination that will never be changed. What a wretched existence. You must be so very lonely.