My first day as a free man in two months. I take a ride into the city to buy a cheap checkers game. On my way around the cathedral I hear a woman scream. A man is firmly holding a relatively attractive young woman’s two hands at a restaurant table. Let me go, she shouts. I wonder what it is about. I look at her hands; she has some kind of necklace wrapped around her fists.
I suspect she attacked the man and now she is getting what she asked for. Let me go, you asshole!
She looks around; a few somewhat amused people are watching. Help me! Help me, you cowards! Aah, you are hurting me! I feel mild shame, but I will not interfere in a situation I know nothing about. Besides, it is interesting to watch. In fact, it is interesting that there really seems nothing I can do without knowing what happened. Justice is a blind bitch.
Two waiters come out of the restaurant to see what is going on. She sees a chance to show off her anger and tries to throw herself away from the guy while still screaming. Let go of me, you fucking asshole! Help! I am amazed that he is nevertheless able to not lose grip of her hands. Since my martial arts training, I am aware that women are significantly weaker than men, but that weak?
After a short explanation by the guy, one of the waiters walks behind her and hooks her arms with his own to relieve the guy from the arduous task. She throws herself around once or twice and continues screaming. I am starting to guess that the guy must be a police officer.
I feel a bit anger now and the lust to help her. Not because of her screaming, but because the situation reminds me of when I got into my own fight with the fucking cops.
So there I stand with mixed feelings – the wish to curiously watch her struggle and the wish to once more demonstrate my disrespect for governmental force.
But then it becomes more and more bizarre. Or rather, her exclamations become more and more bizarre. They develop a bit like this:
Ouch, you are hurting me!
Why do you just stand around, you cowards? You fucking white racists! Suffice to say that she did not strike me as particularly foreign.
You fucking racists! Look at your nation! Your nation is nothing! I own this land, it is mine!
You are all of the devil! You fucking Christians, you fucking evil pawns of the satanic Vatican!
Allah! Allah! She throws herself around a few more times.
There is only one true religion, Islam! You are all following the devil! You are blind!
Will none of you stand up for me? You are blind! I stood up for you today! I changed everything today, why do you not see! Why are you so blind!
Ouch! You are hurting me! Let me go! Let me sit down at least!
I changed everything today, you are blind! Thanks to me, you now all have something to eat and a place to sleep!
Ouch! Let go of my hands, you are hurting me!
Aaaargh! You are killing me! Murderer! Suffice to say that the waiter was not brutalizing her.
I am African! I am European! I am Asian! I am black! You fucking racist pigs! I own this city! I own everything! She really has me consider that she is some kind of Aristocrat there for a second.
People begin to chuckle.
Seriously, I just came out of the psychiatric hospital after 3 months and I have not once heard someone drop so much rubbish in there as she is doing it right now. I feel a bit compassion nevertheless. Who am I to judge. But they do judge.. For your own good. Fuck them.
Some people walk by. English-speaking. A girl tells her boyfriend to keep moving. It is rude to stare. Who cares.
Who is right? Who is wrong? Hell if I know. I feel shame, anger, amusement, compassion. What can I say about the situation? How can I categorize it? But I guess there is no need to. It just is. Some crazy bitch and some stupid cops. Let them play out their little game. Let them learn their own lessons without judging. Both chose the situation, in one way or another.
You know, I wonder what makes somebody say / scream things like that. What makes somebody feel so righteous, what gives somebody such strong conviction.
No idea who said it, but maybe absolute certainty truly is one of the great … I do not want to use the word evils, because I have compassion, but let me call it causes of violence and conflict. So much clinging to rigid ideas. So much obsession. But I guess I was the same, back when I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Desperately clinging to a world view in which I am the only truly good person. What a drag.
In the end, two uniformed police officers came and took her into a car, interrupted by further screams that they are killing her.
It is curious that I get to watch this today, the day I am released from the psychiatric hospital.
Even more curiously, I later this day walked in the dark around some bars and guess who crossed my way. My old boss. The one who made the police take away all my computers. I just stare at him as I walk by, but his eyes are buried in his smartphone and he does not notice me. I turn around for a moment and think about saying something. About attacking him. But something much deeper in me lets me know that there is just nothing to say. I notice other thoughts bubble up. Should I write him a message, letting him know I could have attacked him? Or mocking him? But what for. My brain traverses a database of insults to use. I observe these thoughts. I feel how my body reacts to them. Anger. Tightness in my stomach and chest. Hurt. But they are, somehow, more like ripples on the surface of an ocean. I do not let them take me over and cloud my senses.
And then I get this strong intuition that the universe let him pass my way to inform me that there is no more reason to hold on to the past. That it let him not notice me. To show me that that pain does no longer cling to me. That I am slowly healing, being more and more in the moment. Calm.
I am sure there will be some more bad days to come and days where I will not be so above everything. But today is a victory, in a way. Or is it? No, it just is.