I put up a post the other minute that I knew might offend people but I wanted to honour the veracity of the experience. Would it be more acceptable if the man was the one shouting, and he was the bear of the title rather than his female partner? She did unleash a scatological attack upon the poor guy. What he had done was unclear; more likely it was what he hadn’t done. The title of the piece was unavoidable, though might have been more acceptable were it the man hurling abuse.
It was what happened. Security was called. I overheard the remark, ‘woman screaming in the mall’. It was quite an event. It stopped everyone in their tracks. I could bend over backwards to sugar-coat the experience or ignore it but I’m a writer. How could I not respond to it?
“Lee Chandler, the guy Casey Affleck plays in ‘Manchester by the Sea.”
Jackson liked that film but he did not like Lee Chandler, the way he closed himself off from people.
“That saddens me.”
“That you’re like Lee Chandler or that I mentioned it?”
“The reason I brought it up is that I asked you if you’d like to see Anne perform in the ballet from ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and you said you’d give it a miss though I made it clear I’d like you to go.”
“I know. I’ve thought it over and would like to go see her perform.”
“Because you want to or because you’re afraid of being compared to Lee Chandler?”
It was a little late, Jackson admitted. It would have been better if he’d said so straight off but at least it was a move towards empathy. She would have to give him that.
I live in a street of hermits. I know people are there. I hear them putting out their rubbish bins in the evening. I see their TVs flickering in the windows at night. I hear the postman on his little buzz bike putting things in letter boxes, cars pulling in and out of driveways, voices in the street. I have not seen anybody for years. Perhaps I should get out more.