To The “Human” Who Sat Next To Me At The Orchestra Concert Yesterday…

Screw you.

That was incredibly rude what you did.

You were texting on your phone during my daughter’s performance. You were sharing messages between yourself and the woman sitting on your other side. Your screen, her screen, didn’t matter. You and your wife shat all over the place with your impropriety.

At least, I presume she was your wife. Maybe she was your mistress, or your $80-an-hour hooker. You might have to pay someone that much just to sit next to you.

I know I sure wouldn’t voluntarily put up with shit like that from you on the regular.

Because if that’s how you treat the performance of a high school orchestra, with even less respect than you give a movie, I’d have to be an idiot to spend any more time with you.

I wanted to tell you to stop. I could see your screen, your swiping, your scrolling, out of the corner of my eye.

I wanted to tell you to Put it away, asshole. You were a distraction to me and you were disrespectful of the orchestra members. I get it, your daughter’s portion was complete. And so you figured you owed nothing else to the boys and girls who’d worked hard over the past months preparing for this experience.

Not to mention the director. And the audience members, like myself, who wished to experience their children or friends without distraction.

But you just coudn’t help yourself. You couldn’t wait ten goddamn minutes until the set was finished and it was time to change the orchestras to pull out your phone during the appropriate time.

And speaking of pulling out, I’m now wishing your dad had the night you were conceived. That would have made last night much better.

Anyway – I wanted to tell you to stop. But I didn’t. Why?

Was it because I respected you too much? Nope. You’ll notice that I put human in quotes in the title of this screed for a reason. It’s because I don’t consider you fully evolved.

Was it because I was afraid you’d get mad at me? No again. I couldn’t give a shit what you think of me. Was I worried you’d escalate and beat me senseless right then and there, or maybe wait for me in the parking lot with a few of your buddies? Ha! As if.

The plain and simple reason I didn’t is this: Because I am better than you.

I didn’t say something to you right then because I express respect for the orchestra members. And their director. I give them the attention they deserve, and I promise to do so when I enter the auditorium. I keep my word.

If I had leaned over to you in the middle of the second movement, I would have been no better than you. I would have sunk down to your level, and I do not wish to wrestle with that pig.

Graciously, you and your “wife” decided to remove yourself from the situation at the next break. Good riddance. Glad to see you go. I enjoyed the rest of the performance immensely. I hope that whatever you were doing was worth it. I know you did your best to ruin my experience.

Joke’s on you, though. I’m better than you, remember, so I still appreciated the the performance and the artistry.

But, next time, think again before pulling out that phone. And just don’t do it.

Better yet, just do us all a favor and just stay home instead. That way, you can text all you want and none of us have to deal with your conceit. Everyone would be better off.

Writing Practice – 10/7/2018

Poem a Day Volume 2, p 383 (Dec 16)

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,

Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,

Whose speed is but the heavy plummet’s pace;

Run thy own trail, travel thine own path.

Send to the heavens the shout of a many-breasted warrior strong with the ichor of battle. Let forth a barbaric yawp to shake the hills and rattle the cedars. Share not your victory with those who would have nothing to do with the battle but everything to do with sharing the spoils. For why should their reticence be rewarded, and your valor diminished? Why shall your light hide, as if a reflection upon the surface of the moon, instead of shining bring from the sun’s rays?

Strive, then, brothers in this long struggle, and let it be know that you shall no longer rest in humility as a result of the things you have fought for, sweated for, bled for. But these days shall see a resurgence of your manifest adulation. The righteous praise well-deserved flowing from all of the crowd’s lips to over and above and through you. For it is never enough for just one to shower adulation and praise (except that she be the one, yet that remains a different tale for a different time). It is not enough for a single voice, no matter how powerful or authoritative, to say “well done.”

Nay, it is only for the recognition of the crowd that the warrior strives. He seeks not his own glory, but does so to honor his fallen brothers, to eke out, to draw out from those who remained behind, their praise, their worship, their respect, their fear.

For, if they did not fear the powerful, if they did not respect them at least a little, and in practice a bit more than that, if they did not recognize the hidden, camouflaged power waiting within the army’s arms, if they did not acknowledge the real authority beneath the breastplate, if they did not offer a genuine kudos to their true betters, they know that in a few moments, with a turn of a whim or at the insolence of an unruly youth, they, too, might find themselves a new enemy of those who wield the true power. For true power comes not from robe or treaty or birthright. True power comes from a willingness to fight, to truly fight, not simply argue, to fight and take power, to risk one’s own life in the pursuit. That is power. That is authority. And that deserves respect.