Earnest, The Avenger

May 28, 2010

I was sitting in my car at the hospital entrance. A guy was eating a sandwich. He was gross, throwing the plastic cover on the street and mayonnaise dripping from the corners of his mouth. The guy was fat as well. I noticed all of it without looking at him. Things other than processing the image of this tall, fat and greasy cave man were on my mind.

My phone rang. Actually, it beeped the beep that notifies me a text message arrived. I routinely took my mobile in the hand and opened the message. It was empty. Such was the signal agreed upon by my wife and I to indicate my son and she were close to the hospital exit; a hospital exit that was identical to the hospital entrance where I was awaiting them.

I came out of the car, my gaze firmly fixed at the same indefinite place where it remained during the long period where I was thinking whether we were lucky to have a limited amount of bad luck or whether I was the unluckiest guy ever for having put myself in a position where my energy was constantly drained by countless small instances of bad luck.

I passed the guy. He shouted: “Don’t look at me that way!” I reacted by focusing on him.

“If you continue to look at me that way, I’ll punch you.” he said. “I wasn’t looking at you.” I told, truthfully, not realizing that you don’t need to look to stare. An instant later I looked away thinking the thought of the cowardly man just before he flees: ‘If it wasn’t for my son I’d kick him’. He rattled my chain, as they say. He really did rattle my chain. Whilst I was walking towards my son I vividly imagined how if I would have kicked him he clearly would have injured me, being so much stronger and all.

My son walked excruciatingly slowly, his left arm through her right arm. No thought was necessary to feel there were a couple of days of misery ahead (at the least, because this was one of these moments of ominous prescience). I had all of the time to savour how caveman would be taken by the cops (‘Po-lice’, I said to myself in the accent of marginal people in television series). I smiled at how this would wreck a life already wrecked and how the wrath of justice would fall on someone who had the audacity to challenge in an unorganized way a law-abiding citizen as myself on a symbolic place as is the entrance of a hospital. There was no doubt on my mind that the circle of devastation would far outreach a doer of a deed like that. His parents would be affected. His children and everybody that really cared for him (as there were at least some because there clearly was passion the man).

“Well done!” I said to my son and managed to produce something close to a smile towards him and my wife. I was quite effective in getting them to the car. But my thoughts were with cavemans misery; the possibility of which was enough of a boost to my down brain to mobilize the adrenaline that would get me through the next couple of miserable hours.

Two weeks later my son was back in hospital. I crossed the man in the corridor. His old mother &, a rather nice looking, lady that appeared to be his girlfriend were with him.

I looked intensely at the floor and hurried past them, hoping I would get to the elevator far enough ahead of them not to risk being in it together with him.

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