Eyewitness To The Anger Pumping Through Veins Of Some Americans

On Father’s Day, I stopped to fill my gas tank in Northbrook, Illinois.

It’s a relatively wealthy suburb.

I do not live there.
I was not raised there.

I finished pumping, then emptied the well of my driver’s side door of the weekly junk that accumulates: paper, tissues, an aluminum can, a piece of floss, wrappers, a broken pen, etc.

A couple pulls their car behind mine, and a man yells from the driver’s side.

“Show other drivers some courtesy! Pull your car up before you start unloading your trash!”

I look. Granted, the rear of my minivan is hanging back slightly beyond the imaginary line where cars ideally park to pump, but the hose of my pump reaches my car just fine. I can tell that his will reach his car, too.

“Sorry,” I say. “I think you’re okay. But I’m leaving now anyway!”

I get into my car to turn it on.

“Did you hear me?” he yells. Then he honks.

I step back out to toss two last cans in the trash. I look back at him, perplexed. Can he not see that my car is running?

Then he honks again.

“Idiot!” he shouts, getting out and grabbing his pump.

I am stunned.

I want to crawl back into my car and drive away.


But he keeps egging me.

“Spoiled brat,” he says.

What IS this?!?

I have a choice. Get in the car or not.

I choose not.

I look at him and say, “I’m leaving now. And I think there’s plenty of room for you to pump. If not, there are 2 other pumps open right now [and I point to them].”

His female partner gets out and approaches me. She’s standing as close as you’d stand to someone you’re about to kiss.

In a very low, calm voice, she says, “Just walk away now. You won’t win this.”

She looks exhausted.
Worn down.
I wonder if she is abused.
Then she continues, low and slow.

“Stay here… in your selfish bubble… and do whatever it is you people do.”

I stand up straighter. I have chills.

Then the man yells. “Moron! Learn some manners.”

I look directly at the woman.
I am scared.
And in shock.
And I feel so sorry for her.
And for him.
And for the explosive anger they hold.

“I’m leaving now,” I say. “And you have no idea who I am or what my story is. If you did, you’d have already apologized. Trust me.”

And then I get into my car.

I am not mad.
I am not scared.
I am not an idiot.
I am not spoiled.
I am not selfish.
I am not fighting.

Granted, I DO live in the very liberal bubble that is Evanston, Illinois…

But I will not carry the anger of others.

That’s entirely on them.

Photo credit: 123rf.com

Photo credit: 123rf.com

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    Christine Wolf

    I tend to cover life's ups and downs. I don't shy away from the tougher, more emotional stories. While I'm always willing to voice an opinion, it sometimes contradicts my innate desire to please everyone at all times. Such is this crazy life, I suppose. Ultimately, I search for meaning in the human experience, and openly share how I (try to) keep my head above water. Thanks so much for dropping by. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

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