So I’m walking down the slope when an overweight, balding, forty-something-pushing-fifty year old man looks me in the eye and practically lunges at me. It feels like it’s happening in slow motion and I can’t escape because it’s happening. He’s drunk and suddenly sitting on me as I’m lying on top of a metal barricade that has toppled with me. I can feel the bruises forming as the bars dig into my thigh and shin. I struggle to push him off. I cannot get up and he doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem. Nobody’s particularly helpful though I see and feel several pairs of eyes observing the situation. I completely give up and wait because it’s useless. Then finally somebody pulls him up (it felt like it lasted longer than it did) and I’m fuming. His friends are grinning. “What the fuck is wrong with you?” I yell. His eyes are glazed over and I think to myself that maturity and self control surpass age and experience. Just because you’re way over the legal drinking age does not mean you should drink.
After I’d calmed down, it became a hilarious story to tell. Now that I’m bruised and battered (not really), I cannot believe I got sat on by a huge man. I had no chance. He was seriously fat. But it bothers me how “what is wrong with you” seemed too easy a question to ask. As in, the words came out so naturally. And it felt right at the time. I should be more careful with my words.
Funny how in drunken scenarios the bystander effect is so much more pronounced. Nobody cares. Only one woman asked if I was okay.
Someone is lying on the floor. Another is hanging off a railing, like a shirt draped across a washing line. At first, I’m concerned. Maybe I should check to see if he’s okay, possibly call the police or something. Has he passed out? Is he breathing? How can this guy be taking a video of him if they are friends? He needs to get home. The floor is so nasty. I’m judging his useless friends as they do not even try to take him home. Then my friend points out that those two drunkards had it coming. True. They were responsible for how much they could drink and they went overboard. It baffles me how people let themselves get to a state where their lives are endangered when they’re hoping to have a good time with their friends. They ruin the night with stupidity. I grow impatient and frustrated with the situation, especially at this one friend who decides to sit next to the guy on the floor and make a scene. Shuddering dramatically, clutching the guy’s arm, probably crying instead of being helpful. Pathetic. I reflect upon the fact that I feel superior and I both enjoy it (it feels good to be better or at least think you are) and objectively don’t like it. I mean, if a person if a victim of his/her own actions, they may not ‘deserve’ sympathy, but compassion knows no reason. We all have our issues. Some actions are more idiotic than others but there’s something wrong with all of us. So I should remind myself of that and develop a willingness to serve and be compassionate- which still doesn’t mean that they are excused from responsibility.
This is beautiful though:
“From the perspective of service, we are all connected: All suffering is like my suffering and all joy is like my joy.”
– Rachel Naomi Remen