Sunday, July 17, 2005

Neighborhood children talking and whistling

It's 9pm on a Sunday night and there are children playing outside. There are a lot of kids around here, and it's a warm summer night, so it's not unusual. But some son of a bitch gave one of the kids a whistle. It sounds like the whistle used by British cops in old movies. For all I know, Jack the Ripper is loose out there. Perhaps not. I'm trying to resist the compulsion to go find that kid and, you know, take his fucking whistle. What if it doesn't stop? Worse yet, what if I'm the only one who hears it?

Earlier today I was out for my morning constitutional, which was strange because it was 3:00 in the afternoon. A six year old child on an itty-bitty bike with itty-bitty training wheels rolled by, and he looked at me. As our eyes met, I smiled and he said, "I don't quit." I quickly replied, "That's good." What do you say to that? Naturally, I do quit, and I'm acutely aware of that, so for me the air was thick with an implicit challenge. Was he zinging me for being a pessimistic sad-sack? I doubt it, but I'm still thinking about it. Then again, I probably would have attached meaning to anything the little bugger spat. If he said, "I don't eat ice cream" I would have taken it as a crack about my weight. This is a 6 year old kid we're talking about. He's probably the kid out there with that fucking whistle. The little uber-toddler should be in bed, not out looking for criminals in the fog.

My therapist tells me that I think I'm surrounded by people who hate and mock me because I despise myself. My anxiety, he says, is partially rooted in paranoia. There's some truth there. If I don't hear from a friend for a few weeks, I start to imagine that he or she has come to the conclusion that I'm worthless and need to be avoided. And when I pass strangers on the street, I get the feeling that they think I'm a hideous freak. I guess on some level I know that this is nuts. But that doesn't explain why neighborhood children feel the need to make fun of me via cruel innuendo. Hah!

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