Moments in Time without Context are Without Meaning
January 30, 2013
I suppose it is a truism that every person wants to matter. Two ways we know we matter is when we are feeling loved or hated, or somewhere in between. Being ignored says we matter not at all.
Someone unknown to me let me know how much I mattered to him by hating me enough in a moment of rage over how my BMW 535i was parked that this person slipped a preprinted business-like card filled with anger under my windshield wiper blade to let me know just how angry he was.
On the front the card said:
Learn how to park ass hole!
Don’t let that shit happen again.
On the back, it simply said:
My first thought was, “what kind of person rides around with pre-printed ‘parking-rage’ cards—hate cards, really—ready to strike fear in the heart of the first random parking offender. Was this a serial parking vigilante of some kind seeking out justice for some terrible wrong done in the past? Or more kindly, could it be a new anger-management habit learned from intensive therapy to substitute preprinted hate cards for acts of vandalism, fighting, or worse—shooting bullets at people? It was impossible to know because there was no context from which I could put this act in perspective.
The same logic could also be applied to my car assailant. Why did he (I assume the person was a “he”) assume that I had personally offended him by how I parked. I was fully parallel to the curb in the penultimate parking space on the curb leading up to my apartment entrance. True, I was past the line by a couple of feet marking the back end of my space; but that was only because the car parked behind me had crept past her (equal opportunity blame) front line causing me to move forward into the next space. In fact, it is only because of my superior parking expertise that I was able to squeeze my care in the available space. My car stayed in this spot as cars came and went the next two days until the hate card assaulted my BMW and good name, and impugned my parking expertise. The car behind me was gone when I came down making it looked like I had used two spaces.
My guess is that the only space available to my assailant was the small space in front of me, and he could not fit his car in it because my BMW’s nose was hanging over line penetrating beyond its marked-off assigned territory. He probably exploded in anger and planted his anonymous hate card on my car to satisfy his momentary rage because all he saw was the picture of a moment in time without context.
Love cards never need a context, do they?