I was waiting for the bus last night. Everyone, with the exception of me, seemed extremely pissed. One guy was walking back and forth bitching about how late the bus was (it wasn’t), how bad the weather was (it wasn’t), and how he takes this bus every day (I’ve never seen him) and it’s never this late (although it has been late, it isn’t late right now).
I continue to stand there laughing each time everyone stands up whenever they see a bus only to groan in unison when it’s revealed not to be their bus. It is during one of these get to the front of the line frenzy’s when I notice this little old guy staring at me. I’d noticed it the first couple of times but didn’t attribute it to much more than trying to get more corroboration that this is indeed a horrible thing we’re living through.
Huh? Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have been playing Borat’s ‘In My Country There Is A Problem’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeCDjDRJ9t0) at ear bleed decibels but it’s so catchy!
Seriously, I’ve noticed some things about having a shaved head.
1) The first time it rains on it, it hurts.
2) Hail ALWAYS hurts
3) Other guys with shaved heads think you’re part of their club (I’m not. I’m sure I didn’t shave my head for the same reason you did. Trust me, you didn’t do it to piss someone off)
4) I’m often approached by real skinheads (one time a kid with the proper tats and emblems sidled up to me so I told him I wasn’t a racist, I was in Blue Man Group)
5) I’m often viewed askew (people have locked their car doors when I pass and pulled their children closer. Well, that happened before the shaved head but it does show some people sense danger).
“Excuse me?” I want to make sure I heard what I think I did. I could be wrong. He could just be a movie fan who wanted me to know he likes Dolemite.
“Don’t tell me you’re not German.”
That rat soup eatin’, insecure, honky mutha fucka (For you Dolemite ignorant mutha fuckas, that’s a quote from the movie), he’s calling me a racist. Damn! In this day and age! Whodathunk it?
“Well, sir, I wouldn’t tell you that.”
Well, he’s got me there. I guess you can learn something about yourself every day if you give yourself the time to listen to some random, rambling fuck.
“You skinheads are all alike.”
It’s at times like this I think back to that hackneyed phrase used to assuage race guilt, “Some of my best friends are. . .”
That always made me laugh and picture the person with a shovel digging themselves a deeper asshole. When you’re caught being your true self in an awkward situation take the hit. You got bagged. Own up to it. Everyone hates something. Personally, I hate Sara Lee. There! I said it. That bitch killed my Nana!
I watch this man looking back at me with hate. And, you know what? I don’t care. He can take his hate cake, frost that sucker up, and chomp off a big slice.
“Well, sir, you’re right. I do shave my head and I am from German extraction. But neither of those things has to do with my hating any race, creed, or nation of origin. And do you know why?” I take a step towards this man. I’m not trying to intimidate, crowd, or menace him in any way. I want to make sure he’s looking me square in the eye, like a man with an opinion, when I explain myself.
“Because I love my hate so much I spend the time to really get to know the individuals I hate.” I smile and extend my hand. “Hi, I’m Chris Zell. And you are?”
I hear the guy who was bitching about the tardiness of the bus stop whining long enough to make a comment (but you know how those people are! Always butting in to other people’s conversations), a couple who was swapping enough spit to fill a goldfish bowl laugh and exchange colloquialisms (will those people ever stop?) and the man without the plan, my newest pal (don’t get me started about them!), leaves my hand waving in the evening breeze as the gaggle gathers around the bus stop sign because another bus, this time the correct one, is pulling up.
I fall into line behind this gentleman wanting, no, needing to explain to him how outward appearances aren’t the best thing to place your hate on. Assholes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and consternations. It’s up to us, as individuals, to look past those surface attributes and really get to hate each other on more personal levels. It’s so much more fulfilling.
“I’m not a hate monger.” I say to him as his pass is accepted by the farebox. He looks back at me with a scowl. “I’m more of a hate stylist.”
From the fractured folk at Bound & Gags, we wish you all a happy, healthy and hate free Thanksgiving.
You know what the great thing about family is? You know those bastards on a real personal level! However you spend your holiday, make sure to be stylin’!