I mentioned the other day that I was feeling under pressure lately, more tightly-wound and hung-strung than usual, and trying to keep from snapping.
So this afternoon I’m walking down Telegraph and I stop at the red light at Channing. When somebody bumps into me from behind. I turn around to see what that was all about. It’s this tall young guy, maybe Indian or Middle Eastern, who’s walking down the street with his girlfriend.
“Your Gatorade bottle in the side pocket of your backpack looked like it was about to fall out of your pack so I pushed it back in,” he explained.
“Hey, don’t be touching other people’s stuff!!” I said. And I guess I must have had a little extra edge in my voice (as well as maybe a slightly crazed look in my eyes) because he said.
“Hey chill out. I was just trying to be helpful.”
“YOU SHOULDN’T GO AROUND TOUCHING OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF!” I repeated.
“Hey, take a deep breath,” he said.
The light turned green and he and his girlfriend resumed walking up the street. I stayed where I was but got in the last word: “You’re an idiot, dude.”
I waited there at the corner for about a minute to give him a head start. Just so I wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore. And then I resumed walking.
But about a half block up the street he was standing there on the sidewalk in front of Fat Slice Pizza waiting for me.
“Hey I apologize for doing that. I shouldn’t have done that,” he said with a smile.
“No it’s OK. I way over-reacted,” I said.
“No I understand how you feel. I’ve been there,” he said.
“Cool man,” I said. I pushed knuckles with him in a show of manly solidarity and headed back up the Ave.
I liked how that one resolved itself. It doesn’t always end up that smoothly