Don’t Be a Dick

Took a lovely walk at the Parkway this morning with the pups…beautiful breezes, many others frolicking dogs. It was a nice chance to enjoy our lovely Valley, chat with my guy, say hello to other walkers, and feel grateful to be alive.

A lot of people enjoy this little gem, for walking, running, fishing, picnicking, and biking. I’m a slow walker and keep to my right. Almost always, bikers and faster walkers coming up behind me will call out “left!” Or something like it to warn me. I appreciate it, because I have very poor spacial reasoning and this helps me not get mown over by a mountain bike.

Today, as M and I were finishing our walk, we were musing about the difficulties this year has presented, most notably with respect to my mom’s dementia and my sister’s refusal to let me see her for 7 months – and her allegations that I starved her, medically neglected her, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her, and kept her in a state of squalor. It has been a very trying time. Walks like this morning’s have been one thing that has helped keep me sane.

At that moment, our son-in-law, Kyle Svecz, called to say he’d found an injured cat and wanted to take it to a shelter. He was calling to see if we had a cat carrier.

Just then, a guy comes tearing up around us like he’s running the 800 meters in Tokyo, and he shouts, really aggressively, “there are other people on this path!”

I guess M and I and our admittedly large dogs walking four abreast were too great a barrier for this asshole to surmount (though he did). Don’t know why he didn’t call out “left!”

“What a dick,” I said to Michael. I mean, the entire world is dealing with COVID Month 18, people are out of work, and there are a lot of people out there with bigger problems than TWO VERY NICE PEOPLE AND THEIR EXCESSIVELY FRIENDLY AND FURRY DOGGOS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PATH AT THE PARKWAY!

I mean, the sun is shining. It’s 72 degrees. He’s healthy enough to be running faster than me towards a pizza, or away from an elliptical machine, and his running gear looks pretty high end, so he’s probably got a job, food in the cupboard, a roof over his head, and running water.

So I said to myself, maybe HE has a mother with dementia, or HE is involved in expensive, stressful litigation with a lunatic, like me, or maybe he’s having marital difficulties or he is experiencing a very nasty genital infection, unlike me, or maybe his parents were mean to him or he was bullied as a kid, and I tried to think of all the things it would take for ME to shout at two middle-aged people and their dogs, “there are other people on this path!”

And you never know what you would do in a situation that has never happened to you, so I can’t say I wouldn’t ever be that much of a dick. I hope I wouldn’t. But I don’t know.

What I do think, at least a little bit, is that what this guy actually meant was, “this is MY path, get out of the fucking way!”

I also think that even if I give him the total benefit of a doubt, he’s probably just an asshole who behaves this way all the time.

Michael, being Michael, shook it off, but it bothered me. How hard is it to say, “left!” Or, “coming through!” I do not have eyes on the back of my head, and if I’m ahead of you and you want me to move, then let me know you’re on your way.

I think this guy must be an angry, entitled dick who spends his life snapping his fingers and expecting people to jump. I’ll bet he didn’t notice that it was 72 and sunny, or how beautiful our dogs are.

And also, the nasty genital rash.

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