Wednesday, November 8, 2017

And I Can't Get You Out of My Head

Arugula Summer Sausage Salad
Not on this day but two weeks from now I will be at work and out of the blue I will have a bad customer that will scream that I am a fucking ignorant cunt.  This won't be my favorite day but I'll get through it and go home and make a salad, much like this one.  I'll take the time to make my own dressing and put a little mustard, garlic, honey and fresh squeezed lemon.   I'll pour a huge iced seltzer in a frosted mug from the freezer. But later on, when I'm alone I'll crumble apart just a little.  I will find it difficult to pick the right music or movie to take me out of myself.  I don't need to cry, just a bit of time to talk through a slight whimper.

The details aren't important or even interesting.  A random customer wanted to pick a fight and I tried my best to say the right things but for whatever reason it all went deeply south.  Another verbal assault at work.  Retail goes hard sometimes in Brooklyn home furnishings. You'd be surprised.
The timing hits me weird with the ridiculous amount of stories regarding men behaving badly in the news.  It's not a revelation to me at all that these things happen but seeing all the accounts in the light, I can't help feel we are spiraling down as a people. Last week I had a young guy rush in and ask me for a piece of countertop.  I'm finishing up with another customer who's struggling with the language but becomes upset with me when his broken description of the needed piece isn't enough for me to interpret. The new guy interrupts and says 'you should want to wait on me because I'm more good looking then him'.  That was a very odd thing to say I thought, but I laugh that fake laugh that I do when contractors come in and tell bad jokes. They are usually lighthearted and I didn't think much about it. I book the order and pull it out of the printer and ask him if he wants to pay up here. He doesn't answer so I finally look at him and realize his mind is down a bad road. Why are you laughing? he asks dead serious.  Which I no longer am by the way because now I'm picking up his bad energy.  In my mind I'm thinking, here we go.  This is the guy that is going to pull out that semi automatic and start blasting away.  And I'm not kidding anymore, I do feel that's a possibility.  He's actually an attractive young man, very Middle Eastern looking. But with a black beard and grimace, who knows, maybe he's taken some heat for it as of late or gets rejected due to it, what the hell do I know.  This is purely conjecture but you can think many thoughts in the 25 steps it takes to walk across the room. I motion to follow me to the register hoping I'm imagining this dark vibe.  I ask him to stick his card in the chip reader. He repeats, 'you want me to stick it in'? with a creepy smirk.   Believe me, I got it the first time but I ignore it.  So he says it again, you want me to stick it in? I say, just slide your card sir.  He says what, you don't like me to say stick it in? He's following my face and eyes, bending down and twisting so he can see them better.  He's actually flexing and breathing hard now like he's getting ready to do something stupid.  He asks me one last time. Now I'm completely ruffled.  I pull the receipt and staple it to his order, my hands are shaking.  I have a guy coworker just like 6 feet away but he might as well be a mile because he isn't hearing any of this.  Unfortunately most of our male staff are hard of hearing, something that is both ironic and annoying as hell because it's the case with my husband and male friends, my dad almost every man I know.  I'm both super pissed and paralyzed somehow. I can't mouth anything and he takes the paper all slow from me and I let it go like it's on fire.  He's saying something but I'm already right next to my coworker who is all smiles until he sees that my eyes are puddling up. He looks at us both and then puts his hand on my arm. I try to tell him what happened. Maybe seeing me trying to regain my composure he tells me a story of when a women came on to him and I listen but that tells me he doesn't get what just happened to me at all.
In the end, the guy left just like he came, in a flash. He didn't come to kill me but what he did do is so hard to describe. I wouldn't expect men to relate to that kind of incursion or understand how much of an effect it causes women. I can't even wrap my head around it half the time to be honest. Logic says its just an asshole, shake it off.  I feel embarrassed that it can rattle me so deeply. But it does man, it does.  They throw out that PTSD shit but it is no joke. Degradation comes back in an instant, with all its original strength.

Eventually, as I had some distance from these ordeals tonight, I settled on watching the Machinist again with a more palatable deranged Christian Bale.  I ate my similar salad and went to sleep with some fresh eczema on my face from the ordeal.

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