The Return of the Creeper

Monday, May 13, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Some of you may remember my mini-series on the crazy people of Amherst, MA.  One particular gem (the guy who, unsolicited, told me how ugly my dog is), I call "the Creeper." You can read about him here.
Welcome to Part II of this incredibly inadequate human being.   I should mention some additional information I've learned about this guy since my last post about him.  First, he is not actually a crazy-person.  Moreover, I have been told that he actually is one of those "very smart" guys who just comes off as an ass.  Usually when people says this kind of statement to me, it means that the person has a Ph.D.  Amherst is wonderful at reminding me that just because I got my degree doesn't mean I'm a successful human being.  It really does matter what you do afterwards.

If I'm being even more honest, which I always am, "smart people" (and those are some pretty hefty quotes) who act like idiots piss me off the most; Half because they should know better, and half because I am almost constantly worried that I may be one myself.

Ever since the Creeper went out of his way to my day worse, I have given him an extremely active and unmistakably cold shoulder.  To me, this seems like the most reasonable reaction to his personally offensive action.  As any person who has met me even once can tell you, I am not a subtle fellow.  My cold shoulder is an active deep freeze.  Which makes today's interaction all the more troubling.

As I was outside the coffee shop reading my book, the Creeper comes up to me with a piece of paper in hand.  And then came the worst part of our whole interaction.  He said, "Hey Matt, look at . . ."

Let's stop right there.  How the hell does this piece of human fecal matter know my name!  Or rather, why is it committed to his memory.  I'm sure someone has told me this turdle's name before (pun intended), but i certainly haven't remembered it.  I mean, every single decent shit I've ever taken is more important to my life and memory than this slice of crapple pie (yes, I'm laying it on pretty thick).   Furthermore, how is this supposedly educated douche-nozel doing the mental gymnastics necessary to take him from insulting a stranger to being on a first name basis with him.  Then, I listen to the rest of his statement.

"Hey Matt, look at the sculpture of mine that is being shown in a gallery in Northampton." 

He is motioning to the piece of paper which shows his "sculpture" which looks like a bunch of green bottles stacked atop each other in a checkerboard formation.   And then I realize, he's proud of something!  Duh, I mean, if he has something to show off, of course we can talk.  I definitely have time for him.  Of course I want to put down my reading if he has something to offer.

This enrages me.  This is a slice of the worst part of the privilege embedded in this college town.  The thought that when it suits you, you can pretend to live in a universe where there are no consequences to your previous actions.  Look, I'm not trying to hunt this guy down and make his life miserable, but when you take time out of your day to make my day worse, you lose your "me" privileges.  Forever.  And if I could be so bold as to offer some of my unsolicited advice:  I think this is a good policy for everyone to adopt.  We are all too worthwhile to trouble ourselves with those who lack the basic good sense or human kindness to be respectful. (There are notable exceptions to this rule, as there are important exceptions to every rule--but those are another piece entirely.)

So when he showed me his piece of paper, I was already not paying him any real attention.  He continued, "Yah, it's on display in Northampton, so you can go and see it . . . 

I stare through my sunglasses him, saying nothing.

"Or take a sledgehammer to it, if you want.

I finally respond.  "You never know."   I don't say this with any particular inflection. Flat. Cold. Not inviting a response but somewhat inviting the idea that a sledgehammer would be the only potential mediator in a discussion between myself and his 'art.'

"Well, at least you know where it is," motioning to the address listed on the paper and potentially picking up on my insinuation.  

I am done speaking to him.   After a few more moments of me not responding and him standing there with his piece of paper, he moves on.

As he does I instantly realize how I wished I had responded.  I wish the interaction had gone like this (ps. to understand this part, you need to have read my previous post about the Creeper):

Creep: Hey Matt, look at the sculpture of mine that is being shown in a gallery in Northampton.

Me: Oh, what's your piece called?

Creep: Stupid Pile of Green Bottles  (ok, I made the title up myself, but it seems fitting.)

Me: It's ugly.

Creep: Excuse me?

Me:  It's ugly . . . ugly ugly ugly . . . disgusting actually.   It looks like you. 

In my heart of hearts I would want this interaction to show him how painful it can be when someone shits all over something you care deeply about.  I would hope he would see the connection I was making and have an "Aha! moment."  But I know that the type of person who slings negativity all day and then believes he wakes up every morning with a clean slate is far past this level of self-reflective introspection.  He is not trying to better himself but rather he is attempting to have others make him feel better than he is.  But I am the wrong other for the job.  I am overly consequence driven and worry for days about my word choices from days-old benign interactions.  I will not blow smoke up the Creeper's ass for worry that it might expand his diarrheal volume.

He walked around the coffee shop two more times looking for other people to brag towards, to no avail.

And maybe that's the lesson.  The more people you push away, the lonelier your world becomes.

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