Skip to main content

What Unites Us. Part 2

A long time ago, in a state far, far away (Michigan) I was doing security in a small town called Pigeon. No, I'm not making that up. It's in what's locally referred to as the Thumb area. The neighboring town is called Bad Axe.

By then, I'd been there long enough to know; small town people were some of the most loyal people in the country, and I'd been well-acquainted with the term "colored".

Pigeon, Michigan. I don't remember it being so conglomerated.


So at the processing plant, there was one person, in particular, I'll never forget. I won't say his name. I will say he wasn't shy about letting me know, each and every single night, how he felt about having a black person work in the office.

I hated this guy.

I don't mean that as a euphemism. I mean I literally hated this man. I caught his crap night, after night, after night. These nights dragged into months. It got to the point where, if I even saw him, I'd be irate. My chest would get hot. I couldn't unclench fists if I wanted too. Plus, back then I was still fighting, so I had vivid fantasies about exactly how I could send him to his end.

One night, he emerged from the office with something new to say. When I got up, I was telling myself that I was going to be somewhere he wasn't, but honestly I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

But then, in mid-insult, the man has an episode, seizes his chest and falls to the ground. After a moment, he's still.

I froze.
I stood over him and as I write this, I'm telling you, I would have been happy to let him die right there. Doing anything to save his life wasn't within even my jib description. I would not have lost a moment's sleep if he'd simply expired, right then and there.

But.

I believe in God. But even if I didn't, I believe in karma, and I really wasn't interested in how I'd be repaid for letting this giant flaming racist die right in front of me.

I can't tell you how I was screaming at myself as I got on my knees and began chest compressions. I did manage to start his breathing back up by the time the ambulance got there.

He pulled through.

After that, he avoided me, completely. I didn't see him for a few weeks after he returned.
When I did see him, he wouldn't make eye contact.
It was another few weeks before he began to say hi. The first time he did it, I was so shocked that I looked around to see who he was talking too.

Then, one day, he walked up to me and we spoke. Honestly, spoke. We opened up to one another. I was amazed we were actually having that conversation, considering he had once alluded to every wrong name under the sun when addressing me and I had thought how best to feed him his own guts. But here we were, talking, laughing, and...enjoying each other's company.

I can claim faith and all that when I think about why I revived him, but the honest truth is, I really couldn't tell you what was going through my head when I did that. It was mostly me yelling at myself; "ARE YOU CRAZY?!"

But in the end, what it became was two people who hated one another for all the wrong reasons found common ground. He never thanked me, nor apologized, but when I left that job he did shake my hand.

Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.
  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

America: A True Story About Hatred and Unity

I wanted fast food tonight. That was all. I found myself at Burger King to pick up my wife's order. I was a few cars deep when I spotted the Confederate flag. I surreptitiously snapped a few photos. This was going to be a very different story. When I pull out of Burger King, it turns out there's more than one. In fact, there are four trucks, each flying variations of the flag. I have to go around the front of them to avoid an accident. They're parked right in the middle of the road. As I drive around them, each person in the vehicle makes it a point to ensure I see them. I do. They see me too. When I get to McDonald's (which is in the same lot), I learn that they're not taking debit cards at the moment. Terrific. I wanted chicken nuggets and instead, I get a run-in with the new Confederacy. So I make my way back to Burger King, again appearing in full view of the trucks. I place my order, get it, pay, and pull out. Then one of the

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight. No, wait. That's not where the story starts. The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook. She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi. I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay." Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place. We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay." Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard. So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down. The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding. The paper is thick and