06 February 2009

Tonight I was Attacked

I am still feeling quite under the weather with a cold. But I made an effort to attend the Friday Oly FOR Peace Vigil anyway. I only lasted about 30 or 40 minutes. But I am glad that I showed up. Afterward I went out for some dinner, which helped me to feel better. Then I went to a café for some herbal tea. It was very bitter. But by the end of the cup I had almost acquired a favorable taste for it —almost. It was called, "Quakes and Quivers." Anyway, I am sure it has relieved some of the symptoms of my aches and pains. I am drinking a lot of fluids. Currently working on a cup of hot water with garlic.

At the café I ran into someone who I have some history with. I have never really been formally introduced to this person, but she was also involved with protests against military shipments via the Port of Olympia in 2007. For a long time now, whenever we chance to encounter one another, she has reacted by hissing at me. Yes, you read that right.

Last weekend, I was participating in the Westside Artswalk, and attended a house show. In between sets I encountered this young woman, who told me I had to leave, and that I was not welcome. I asked her if she had a reason, and she told me that she didn't have to give me a reason. She said it was her house and that she wanted me to leave. I told her that I'd like to stay. But she insisted. So I didn't object. I grabbed my bag and left. On the way out I told her that I was very sorry for whatever it was that I did to offend her. And I wished her to have a good night. It was kind of an intense encounter. I don't take kindly to being excluded.

So, it was a twinge of protective energy I felt when I saw her sitting in the café that I entered earlier tonight. I ordered tea, talked to the barista for a while, then sat down at a table with some other people, and talked with them while I drank my bitter Quakes and Quivers. After a while the woman who hisses at me passed by me on her way out of the café. I watched her leave, and I made myself available for eye-contact, which is my custom. She made eye-contact back with me, which seemed to really piss her off. It looked like she was almost about to re-enter the café to say something to me. But she left.

I finished my tea, which only took another couple minutes or so. And then I left.

I grabbed my bicycle, which was unlocked, and started to head for home. She was still outside the café, unlocking her bike. She was in the direction I was going, so I walked by, and waved at her - something which apparently really raises her ire.

Anyway, we had a 5 minute or so interaction in which she demonstrated tremendously insulting and mean behavior toward me. I can only describe her attitude as hateful.

I will leave out most of the details. It's hard for me to even think of the occurrence. I think I would need a therapist to lift it out of me.

But a few details included her angrily kicking the wheel of my bicycle, calling me a "snitch," and calling me "decadent." I asked her why I was a snitch, and she said she didn't have to tell me. I told that I think she's full of shit. She told me that I "am" shit.

She told me that I am ignorant. I disagreed and told her that I think I am quite knowledgeable. She said that I am full of myself. That I also disagreed with.

Anyway, there was some back and forth. I asked her questions, she told me to leave. She said she knows where I live and that she has a posse and that I should watch out lest I get hurt.

I wonder if she is hurtful and mean toward other people besides me, or if I have a special spot in her experience.

I wonder.

I was attacked by a woman whose name I don't know.

So. That's all I am going to write about that for now.

And I am not shit!

p.s. I just want to point out that bullies and oppressors come in all shapes and sizes. This young woman advertises herself as being opposed to the war. I wonder if she is an anarchist, because she is profoundly authoritarian, telling me that I am not to look at her, or gesture in her direction. Bullies can wear badges or bandannas. Her hatefulness was striking. Sad. It's sad, because we're supposedly working for some of the same goals... Or are we? I am not so sure. It's too bad she doesn't want to talk about it. It's too bad she prefers to level angry insults and call me names.

Hate is the enemy. Violence is the enemy.

Love, compassion, forbearance, tolerance, respect, truth, understanding — these are some of the solutions.

p.p.s. Stop hurting each other!


  1. I'm sorry this happened to you. Its a horrible feeling to carry around, this type of interaction/experience, especially for someone who has a peaceful spirit. I hope it passes through your mind with the weight its worth, none.

  2. Eh, you get all manner of nutters and weirdos if you play any sort of public role. Chalk it up to a mental illness, or unrequited issues from her past and move on. No need to see a shrink. Just figure with 300 million plus people (legally) in the US you are bound to run into at least one who is irrational, unstable, and directing that energy at you.

    Make like the happy stripper Berd, just grin and bear it :p

  3. And yah, it sucks; but I encounter people like that at least 2-3 times a week at work (hard working with the public sometimes) at some point you do learn to live with it.

    Sorry it had to happen to you Berd, for as much as we disagree, I always respect those who try to walk the line of their beliefs, and I believe you do a good job of being a man of peace.