I had a strange moment at the mall today. There was an item that I needed to return. Not like a pair of gloves or something, it was a licensed copy of Microsoft Office in the original box with the receipt. I will uncharacteristically refrain from telling you all of the details, but take my word for it, it had been rendered useless and uninstallable through no fault of my own. It turned into a big deal, unsurprisingly, and it ended up taking two almost two hours.
(To cut the suspense, they did eventually give me the money, about $100 in cash. They had clearly caused the problem, but even that is usually not enough in these cases. It was a testament to my powers as a near-hysteric who refuses to be pushed around.)
I have largely outgrown the frequently abrasive behavior of my younger days, but there are times when I can make very hard eyes and be very, very direct. It happens when I make a polite request for something that every system of honor and justice in the world would agree that I should be granted, but it is not granted. I find it disrespectful to be stonewalled and denied what is so clearly my due. Honestly, in any situations where the justice of it could go either way, I just smile and walk away. When my good nature is clearly being abused, however, I can be difficult.
The odd experience came late in this exchange, which by then was me vs. four mall people and one guy from Microsoft on the phone. I had exceeded my bullshit tolerance quota about half an hour previously. I was speaking across a desk to a mall woman who spoke remarkably good English, and I was explaining to her my theory of how the problem came about in the first place, a theory in which the mall looked particularly bad and had obviously broken the law. I was touching a nerve, because I could tell that she knew that I was right. In mid-accusation I glanced briefly to my left, and I saw something.
It was a Farang dwarf (Farang, a white European or American, or anyone who looks white). She was an adult woman, and although I was seated I was looking directly into her eyes at close range. She was wearing a traditional Bavarian dress like the ones worn by Octoberfest waitresses, rather colorful and ornate. She was very pretty, and her eyes were huge, like one of those big-eye paintings, and very sad. Her dark hair was in pig-tails.
I don’t think that there is a chance in the world that there was actually such a woman standing there looking at me in that way, at that time. Leaving the mall later on, I wondered if such a transient disconnection from reality was something that I should worry about, quickly deciding that it was not. That’s small potatoes in my scheme of things. Then I wondered about the symbolism of it, why would my vision take the form of a melancholy Bavarian dwarf waitress? This second question was as difficult as the first one was easy. I eventually gave up.
I’m chalking it up to just another day in the unsupervised disintegration of a slightly defective personality. Let the record show that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a danger to myself or others! I am just a curiously imperfect stich in the human tapestry, impossible to detect from afar, and not even easy to see from close up.
I should apologize for bothering you with such trivial matters.