I got on the 25 bus Wednesday evening. I took a seat in the back corner of the bus on the side farthest from the exit door. I pulled out my Chinese textbook. I was content to study it as I listened to a podcast on my mobile phone. But, I noticed that this woman and boy sat beside me. The bus was very empty so passengers boarding had a choice of seats. The woman exchanged seats with the boy so he could sit next to me. The boy, wearing coke bottle glasses, noticed my book and he tried to practically stick his head in it. This annoyed to me very much.
Locals staring at what I am reading happens a lot, and I usually try to ignore it, though I am always fighting a feeling of annoyance which prevents me from concentrating.
Wednesday evening, however, I lost my temper. I screamed at them. "Fuck off! Do you think I am some kind of monkey for you to show to your kid!" I also made a rude gesture towards them. I remember looking into the woman's face and not being able to tell if my anger was registering with her. She looked to have an amused and quizzical look on her face.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another empty seat over the bus's rear wheel well, and rushed over to it. I then tried to concentrate on my book, and didn't bother looking back to see how the pair reacted. But the concentrating didn't happen. I felt sheepish as I always do after a burst of anger.
Now, I regret what I did. The detail of the child's glasses which I noticed at the time, I now realize, stupidly you would say, show that he looked in the intrusive manner he did because of his poor eyesight. All I can say in my defense is that the being stared at is hard at times, and I don't like my happy world intruded into. I am too weak sometimes to fight my evil inclinations. I must always keep my guard up – against myself.
This happy world of mine is one where I am king and the lies to myself are unquestioned – but that is another story for another time.