It happens from time to time – I think to myself, “What is wrong with that person? Why did they do such and such?” It happened to me just the other day, in fact.
My husband and I were at the bank – paying some bills and getting some money because $60 seems to burn through our wallets faster than if our pants were actually on fire. As we went in, we walked past a man standing outside. He looked like he’d seen better days. He had a bottle of something in his hand that he was drinking. It could have been Pepsi in a bag, but from the particular way he tipped it up to take a swig, I didn’t think so. His clothes were rough, his face was scruffy, and he was wearing an extra-large backpack. It was pretty obvious, the guy had either just returned from a a very long trip and he was celebrating outside of Scotiabank, or he was living on the streets. Yeah, probably the latter.
As we entered the bank, the man followed us. Pausing for a moment, he looked at my husband – who was already busy dealing with the machine – and then he looked at me. I gave him the stare – the “don’t fuck with us” stare. I learned that from my psychopath book. You have to be confident, no matter what. Walk confident, stand confident, give off a confident air. You can’t be oblivious, or look scared. You’ll end up a victim.
And either my stare worked, or the man thought better of what he was about to do, or both, and he turned around and walked back outside. Now, he could’ve been just trying to get warm, but that’s not the impression I got. He kind of had that wild look in his eyes. It was the look of desperation and too much alcohol.
On the drive home, my husband and I discussed the incident. “How does a person get like that?” I said. Thoughts of the guy making a million and one bad choices came to my mind. For a moment – for a split second – the notion that I would never fall into a state of such disrepair flashed in my brain, which I should’ve known would be a cue for the universe to teach me a little lesson, because karma’s a bitch, and it’s not just your actions that count. Your thoughts can create problems for you as well. That’s what I believe, anyway. The universe can see and hear E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
Quickly, I caught my folly, and I reminded myself that we are all pretty much the same, that often, it is our circumstances that dictate our actions, that then go on to shape our lives. Who knows? Maybe the guy’s parents died when he was little. Maybe he was abused. Maybe he had some kind of mental illness. Nobody wants to be homeless and starving and pushed to the brink of robbing some people at a bank machine.
I probably couldn’t make it a day without a hot shower, let alone a good meal and my Tempur-Pedic mattress. I’d be beating somebody’s door down for sure.
When I got home, I walked in and was greeted by my son who said “Have you been going around with that big green stain slopped down the front of your coat all this time? You look like a homeless person.” Oh god, it was true, and it served me right. See, the universe knows how to knock a person down a notch when it needs to. Thanks broccoli smoothie.
It also goes to show how little my husband pays attention to how I look – unless I’m wearing nothing, of course. But that’s another discussion.
Bill Burr: You People Are All The Same Not exactly related, but Bill does what I’d call “philosophical comedy”. He’s smart. He has something to say. He may be a bit crude at times, but I love him. If you don’t like the “F” word, don’t watch it.