There is a car-guard guy who works on my street and has done for years. It’s a kak job.
Today I saw a young guy shouting at him in the middle of the street and I took a decision to get involved. I’ve seen a number of shouting matches with this car guard over the years and this one was just too much.
It all seemed too clear to me. It costs to park on the streets in CT. If you don't like it, take it up with the city, not with the poor guy trying to make a living.
I walked up and told the young guy that I knew the man he was shouting at, and regardless of the frustration, there was no reason to talk to him like that. The guy then grabbed me by my arms and pushed me.
It was the single most violent act I have experienced in years. I know that makes me one of the lucky ones in this world but it still shook me. I left the argument in shock and walked up to my office. I was in tears by the time I got there.
What upset me most was that I am, at 37, still unable to make decision about how to protect myself. And I’m upset that we live in such a violent, unhinged society that standing up against something I feel is wrong puts me in some kind of physical danger.
I have a few responses:
- I shouldn't have got involved. The car guard is a grown-up and can handle himself, and maybe I was being a bit patronising, white-woman-in-Africa about defending him.
- I shouldn't have got involved. I put myself in physical danger; what if he was angrier/ crazier/ drunker and I got really hurt rather than merely freaked out?
- Fuck that. I will still get involved, if only to let the guy on my street know that he is seen.
My husband is behind response 1, my colleagues are split between 2 and 3 – and, to be honest, I’m not sure what I think.
What do you think?