I am old. I don’t view myself as old, and think of myself as old. But sometimes reality smacks me in the forehead—and it hurts.
Earlier today I was working at Starbucks. There was a gaggle of loud, obnoxious kids sitting a few feet away. There were eight or nine of them, probably about 15-years old, two or three boys, the rest girls. The boys were doing what boys do—bragging about their penis sizes and such. Stupid, but not surprising.
I took a break, went outside and called my friend Frank. I stood in the window while I was talking, just to keep one eye on the laptop. Some of the kids were sorta staring at me, and a fat little fuck with brown hair knocked on the window and waved. I nodded back. A few minutes later he came out, walked to where I was standing and placed a penny at my feet. He returned inside, and the kids giggled. Moment later, one of the girls came out with a quarter and did the same thing.
They were, of course, exercising group courage; a teenage right of passage that is, to be mild irksome. I was jacked up on coffee and sleep deprived (went to bed at 3 am last night), and in no mood. But I just ignored them. Then, the kids all got up and departed the shop. They left all their trash behind for the employees to pick up.
At that moment, I wanted to kill them. I wanted to grab the little penny-leaving fucker around his neck and scream, “Listen, you shriveled-up motherfucker! I will slit your throat and feed your adam’s apple to the fucking fish! I will absolutely destroy you! Now go back inside and clean up your shit!” It was my inner-Rocker, I suppose, and the feelings were very raw, very real. Maybe it has to do with my own mild youth; or maybe it’s the fact that I hate kids that age. I mean, I really, really do. The know-it-all swagger; the fake bravado. I possessed it 23 years ago, and looking back makes me want to vomit. The thing that got me most of all was the trash. Who does that—at any age? Who thinks, “I’m gonna leave all my stuff, and the guy making minimum wage can clean it up! Ha, ha, ha!” ARRRRHHHHGGGGGGG!!!!!
Ahhhhh—I’ve been waiting to write about this all day. Feel much better. When I told The Wife about this later, she completely understood my feelings. But she also wisely noted, “Do you wanna be the old guy screaming at kids in a Starbucks?”
No, I don’t.
But it would have felt pretty damn good. Just this once.