Or Better Yet, Just Fucking Don’t

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When driving along the freeway
Or a highway
Or a street
Or an alley
Or anywhere, really
I avoid rolling down my windows
Stretching my hand into the wind
And flipping people the bird
Or even honking too much.
I keep my road rage to myself
For one simple reason:
I do not know which of those people
Driving by out there
Has a handgun in their glovebox
And road rage worse than mine.
It seems safer
Simpler
To fill my car with curses they will not hear;
To just keep it to myself.

The same
I believe
Is true of just about any
Altercation.
Don’t go walking down the street
Antagonizing strangers
Trying to start fights
Because you don’t know who
Might pull out a knife
And fucking cut you.
Or who knows jujitsu
Or who’s going to shoot you.

This same logic can be liberally applied
I think
To even more issues.
Such as:
When expressing feelings of entitlement
To other people’s bodies and spaces
Consider that you do not know which of them
May have been raped.
May have been abused as a child.
May have been otherwise assaulted and
Will have no tolerance for your shit.
When expressing feelings of entitlement
To other people’s bodies and spaces
Consider that you do not know which of them
Might be processing a trauma-by-proxy.
Might be grappling with freshly learned stories
Of rapes and abuses committed against their loved ones
And of those there is no way for you to know
Which of them understand that your issues of entitlement
However benign they may on the surface seem
Stem from the same issues of entitlement
Many of those rapists felt toward the bodies their victims
(read: her loved ones).
When expressing feelings of entitlement
To other people’s bodies or
When you’re violating others’ personal spaces
Take into consideration:
You never know who is going to respond
By yanking your ear damn near off
To scream into it
“DO NOT FUCKING TOUCH PEOPLE
WHO DO NOT WANT TO BE TOUCHED.”
You never know who is going to respond
By digging their claws into your arms
To let you know that they will not be tamed
While they tear you apart
In front of the whole goddamn bar.
So proceed with caution.
Or, better yet
Just fucking don’t.

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