General Public Gastro: The Silent Killer
By the time this article is published, I will be on the hook for another murder. The victim? Mr. No Blasted-Manners from upstairs.
Here’s how we met:
Last week Monday. 7.40 a.m. The elevator opened on my floor. I spotted him. (He alooone in dey.) “Good morning,” I said, before my left foot had time to catch up with my right in the elevator. Silence.
Puzzled, I immediately began to mentally run through the possible scenarios as to why the greeting went unanswered.
Did I not project my voice? Was he wearing headphones? Oh wait…maybe English is his second language.
Then it hit me. Naivety tossed aside, the blinding rage began to build. Before I had time to ketch mihself, I was choking the coonoomoonoo who chose to ignore my greeting. All of this before the elevator reached the ground floor.
OK, so I didn’t kill him. Not for real anyway. In my thoughts, he fell victim to my inner beast that sheds blood first, and asks questions later. Instead of telling people where to get off, I imagine I’m in “Saw”, numbers 1 through 3D, pulling the triggers on those traps. So, who are the people most likely to die?
Young men posturing themselves to claim space, while encroaching on my own. People, who are clearly afflicted with a condition known as “now I see, now I don’t”, resulting in their inability to respect the pecking order of a queue. The cashier who thinks I read “palm” when she glances at me, arm outstretched and points to the money I’ve just handed her. “Oh, you said $5.59 not $5.29…Sorry,” I mumble, when I eventually decode her message. And one of my favourites, the salesman who loses all of his charm, once he realizes I am walking out of the store without the shoes, and with his commission.
For a long time, I believed I was passive aggressive.
Upon recent reflection, however, I have re-self-diagnosed myself as having General Public Gastro (GPG). The pain and discomfort of dealing with Joe and Jane Public on a daily basis is so violent that I can’t help but want to inflict the same malaise ‘pon dem.
I’m almost sure I first picked up the bug on public transit, oh, about seven years ago when I became a Trinitonian (a Trini living in Toronto). Since then, it has taken hold and grown like tumour, attacking my brain and all my “Ms. Diplomatic-to-a-fault” cells.
Riding public transit is part of my everyday reality now, and I spend a copious amount of time with my thoughts. It is a dangerous combination and GPG thrives in this environment. Like recently…
After an ugly, but productive, 12-hour day, I met victim #unknown – the bus rapper. He disturbed my relative peace so badly that, in a flash, I conjured up this scene:
Me: Standing up to get off the bus and backing into him by accident.
Him: Using the opportunity to pinch my bumcee.
Me: Flinging ’round my body to spit, “Boy doh mek mih break yuh fuc…”
This is why when I’m pissed off I don’t open my mouth or react in the moment. I’m afraid of what I appear to be capable of. All I really wanted him to do was rap a little softer, but instead of asking him to I created a vision in my head that allowed me to release my wrath.
If you feel like you can relate, you may have GPG. Check for some of these symptoms:
Clenching/Grinding your teeth: When yuh dentist tells you to take a yoga class, yuh know what time it is.
Heart palpitations: True, you might just need some exercise. But, if your heart starts racing after the yute man bounce yuh down, while trying to race past you on the stairs, you might have a mild case of GPG.
Seeing red: This one happens to me every time I go home for holidays, and pass through Royal Castle for the wing special. The same wing special that is advertised to include a special condiment. Two words: honey mustard. Status: non-existent. Is every blasted time so?! Cue red, as the cashier proceeds to half steups, half inform me that “It eh have none”.
Tasting blood: I admit it. This is an exaggeration. But, I can’t think of a better way to describe that feeling that you are literally ramming yuh foot so far up somebody’s backside that you bite yuh lip and…well…taste blood. Once you reach this point, GPG has taken over any remaining peace-loving cells in your body. Yuh vex to kill!
Do any or all of the above apply to you? Addressing your GPG is important, as in the end the only person getting hurt is you. You can’t be clenching your teeth all the time to avoid speaking your mind. Nor can you move through the world like Jigsaw, as much as you envy your friends who don’t give an eff, and will cuss way people, if they don’t step light. Getting rid of my GPG is high on my list, and I’m in search of balance in all things right now. Let’s see what this new year brings.
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