Posts Tagged ‘anger

12
Aug
19

Cheaters

There is little in the world that annoys me, crushes any sense of accomplishment, or brings on the waves of crippling depression and paralyzing rage than a cheater.

The definition of a “cheater” is pretty broad in my head, I suppose. Maybe I shouldn’t let it get to me. But basically, I count anyone who abuses a system, who breaks the rules or a system, or who warps the rules and definitions of a system so they can claim to “win” – especially at the expense of others and/or myself – as a cheater. Also included are people who want to brag about being #1 at something when they’ve so mutilated the criteria that there’s really no one else running.

That includes people with aimbots or lagbots, or folks who are using party chat to rig a match in an online game. That includes people who want to brag and ram it down your throat that they’re the #1 bestseller in the nonbinary lesbian moongender vampwolf otherkin comedy romance thriller genre on Amazon (and the inverse; “I’m looking for manuscripts, but only if nonbinary lesbian moongender vampwolves are doing the submissions.”) That includes all the self-diagnosed “neurodivergent” people who treat mental illness as a badge of honor and use it as a free ticket to get out of trouble or claim special treatment. That includes the folks who claim disability and receive benefits (usually for nebulous conditions like a “bad back”) who then spend their days jogging around the neighborhood and working on cars for cash under the table. This includes people who, despite living in a supposedly non-smoking complex (and being quick to report you if they saw you using a vape device without having gone past the imaginary sidewalk line) spend most of their time spewing so much pot smoke that it leaks under the door of neighboring apartments, and somehow are immune to punishment. This includes people who claim nonexistent (or, as I call it, “conveniently existent”) disabilities or gender identities to use them as bludgeons against others, excusing everything from frivolous lawsuits to pedophilia and perjury.

It’s a long list. And it’s the sort of thing that’s always made me furious. I remember being in the first or second grade, one of the students – and notorious bully by virtue of his height and girth – was trotting around the schoolyard claiming to be the “King of Grades.” Yes, it’s stupid. But it still enraged me, especially because I knew it to be false; you don’t get consistently held back to finish homework or repeat quizzes if you’re doing well. I remember getting myself landed in detention because I ended that discussion by hysterically shouting random questions at him, trying to “prove” he was lying by catching him in a wrong answer. “What’s a bicuspid?” That was the last one I recall.

Yeah, I’m nuts. I know it. “Don’t let it get to you,” most people would say, or more colloquially, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” It’s born of a seething inferiority complex that’s compounded by an inability to feel any sort of pride my own accomplishments or having that pride ripped away, shat on, or belittled by those around me (or, in today’s lovely environment, being told that pride is somehow “problematic.”)

Still, rage-inducing. Promoting me to stare at the sharp objects far too often. Liable to force me to submerge and pretend I don’t exist again or make me throw my hands up in the air and stop taking my meds or even trying.

Not a happy post today. Sorry, folks.

KA Spiral no signature

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12
Feb
18

Sympathy

There he goes again.

Every day, it’s the same thing. I hear the door across the hall slam, a foul-smelling cloud of pot smoke finds its way across the hall and seeps under the door, giving me a migraine. A series of thuds as his heavy tread goes down the stairs. A series of metallic rattles as he undoes the chain holding his battered green bike to the awning pillar.

I peer out the window and watch him pedal off, a hunched old man wearing a battered pea coat, with a ragged flap of cardboard tucked under his arm and a joint cocked in the corner of his mouth. It always amazes me that he manages not to light his greasy salt-and-pepper hair on fire while it whips around him with that flame dancing so close. How he keeps it lit in the omnipresent drizzle is also a mystery.

I know where he’s going. I’ve seen him almost every day on my way to work. He stands at the corner of Lancaster and Center, sandwiched between the Target and a Mongolian BBQ place. The flap of cardboard is his sign. The sign always irritates me, makes me want to grab it out of his hands and beat him with it.

“Tests of kindness, still only 25 cents,” it says.

Fuck your kindness,  I think.

Sometimes he has a dog, a mangy-looking mutt of no particular breed, dust-colored. I don’t know where it comes from. I never see it at the complex, which makes sense since animals aren’t allowed – of course, neither is smoking, and he drowns us all in his weed, so I doubt they’d be too concerned even if he was caught with a mutt – but somehow he gets it to him here. Other days he’s alone. I’ve watched him; he always does better on days he has the dog.

I’m not surprised. People can be stupid, sometimes. “Oh, look at the cute homeless puppy,” they say. Then they give him a five or a ten or sometimes even a twenty instead of fifty cents or a buck.

Be more charitable, the voice in my head sometimes says. Hell with that. I’d be charitable if I didn’t know he lived in a $900 a month three bedroom apartment or if I didn’t know he smoked enough pot to knock out a room full of rock stars or if I didn’t see him every night clomping back up the stairs with two or three overloaded Applebees bags.

He’s scamming everyone. Meanwhile there’s plenty of folks like me, struggling to make things work out, working two or three jobs at a time and trying to remember to find time to sleep and still sometimes having to decide if they’re walking to work that day or going hungry because you can have gas or food but not both. But they’d say I’m the monster, I’m the complainer.

I’d seen this every day for the last eight months. Getting angrier each day, getting tired of busting my ass to follow the rules and try to be productive when someone like that gets away with whatever they like and survives – thrives, even – on the stupidity and errant kindness of others.

I think that’s when I made up my mind.

I had to kill him.

KA Spiral no signature

 




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