The devil is in the details

(That idiom KIND OF applies, if you don’t think about it too much.)

Two recent events that have confirmed my suspicion that I am, in fact, a horrible human being:

1. Recently, I was leaving my house in order to go shopping for food or something stupid from Target. As per usual, a flock of small children were playing some sort of uncoordinated game of pick-up football. Or pass-the-football. A football was involved and they were throwing it, is all I’m saying. God.

As I walk by, one of the children goes for a long pass. As he is running, he trips over his own limbs from what I can only assume is a lack of motor skill development. He crashes onto the pavement in a tangle of limbs, not even trying catch the football anymore (that’s not how you make the team!). The ensuing ear-splitting wail is preceded by one of those silent screams where the kid’s mouth is opened in exaggerated pain and terror–you know, the one kids do because every time they feel pain their body is like, “But what, what is this FEELING. What do I DO? Should I make a noise? Am I making a noise now? Is my mouth open? Is noise coming out?” and then their face screws up something stupid because they haven’t coordinated the brain with the vocal cords yet. But the following wail is, indeed, earsplitting.

The second the first dissonant note tears through the air, I literally RUN to my car. I don’t want to deal with that shit.

As I’m fleeing in my car, I think to myself, “Huh. I guess I probably should have checked if that kid was okay.” But then I looked out my window and some adult was tending to him. So at least there’s that.

(Kids are such fakers anyway, though. He didn’t even tear his jeans. Talk to me when you’ve impaled your leg on your own bicycle gear and stopped a fall with your face. /end clumsy justification of misanthropy.)

2. I was coming back from a run and enjoying my cool-down walk when I was forced to stop at a busy intersection. From my block, but crossing the other direction, was this crouching, enfeebled old woman carrying canvas bags full of who-cares-what.

Now, you know how old people move slower then us spry, young folk? Well, other old people would be able to complete a marathon in the time it takes her to do a 5k, yaknowwhatimsayin? She’s slow. That’s what I’m saying. And I just watched her go. I watched her shuffle along with her bags at some sort of ungodly pace. My inner monologue went something like this:

“My god, that woman is slow. I hope I don’t move that slowly when I’m old. How can I avoid going that slowly when I’m old? Why is she walking if she can’t really walk? Did she escape her home? What’s in those bags? I wonder if they’re heavy or really light but she thinks they’re heavy because she’s old. Remember working in the grocery store? Old ladies were always like, “Don’t make the bags too heavy!” and I’m all, “Ma’am, there’s only eggs in there!” and they gave me that face that just means they’re jealous of my youth. Particularly then because I was a teenager. I wish I were a teenager again. Good God, no I don’t. Holy crap, is she not even half way yet? My God. Look at her go. I admire her determination. God this light is long. I want to go home. Home home home home. SHE’S STILL ONLY HALF WAY!”

And then this teenage kid rode up to her on his bike, put her bags over his handle, and helped her cross the street. It was heartwarming, really, to see that people still care enough to help their fellow man. I might have even teared up if I weren’t dead inside.  But then I realized, “Awwwww shit, I just didn’t help an old lady cross the street. That’s like Good Person 101.”

Oh well. Maybe if I ever see an old lady fall down, I’ll check and make sure she’s okay. I think that would make up for both things.

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