It was before 8 this morning, when I hit Broadway on Taylor, when I clocked it, even through my bandana mask. The stench of caucacity was oh-so-strong, and yet I led with, “Good morning. Please…don’t forget to wear your masks.”
And you know it, the athleisure-clad, coffe-cup-carrying unmasked Mama Karen turned around all like, “Oh, yeah. It’s just, where I come from, they don’t make us wear masks.”
I realize now I missed a chance then to pay it forward and tell her and her grown-ass twentysomething punk-ass son/grandson/nephew/friend/lover/whatever to go back whence they came – but…what can I tell ya…not my style. I’m so not that kind of asshole.
And you know it, too, like a good Karen or Susan or Rachel, Ms. Thing’s entitlement immediately went from 0 to 60 in 3.5. And you know this, too: My indignation followed suit.
I was like, lady, where the fuck are you from because, on this planet, we are having, we have been having, a public-health issue. “It has been three months of this pandemic,” I said firmly before we devolved into a shouting match. “You know this, you know you have to wear a mask, so why don’t you just wear a mask when out in public?”
“OK, it’s just that I…”
I, I, I, Wah, wah, wah.
“Shut the fuck up. You’re selfish and you’re entitled, and you don’t care about anyone else,” I said. “Just shut the fuck up, you racist, classist, entitled, careless bitches.”
As they walked away, no joke, the young Chad turned around and started to mimic a child throwing a fit, to minimize me. Because that’s what those who proudly hail from Entitledland do. They deflect like it’s going out of style, so they never have to take responsibility or ownership of their own actions, never mind their misdeeds. And they never have to do shit for others.
I was in the zone of being correct and right about this ask. I tried to be nice and simply, yet firmly (which is not the same as aggressively) advocated for my health and for my and everyone’s right to be out and about in our streets, in my neighborhood, amongst compassionate neighbors that realize that this isn’t only their show, OK. Like, if you keep walking south on Taylor and down the hill past California, there is the Tenderloin, which is still in a decades-old public-health and public-safety crisis.
Wake up! People are dying, and these two intergenerationally privileged wastes of oxygen were out to take in the new day (by all means, good for them), drink a cup of coffee on the go (to each their own, but why is eatin’ and drinkin’ on the go a thing, anyway – like, chill, treat yourself, and re-fuckin’-lax, preferably at home; you need it), and flex in the least useful way possible, given the current moment we are all living. But some people cannot help themselves.
I tried to be nice. All this unpleasantness could have been well avoided had they owned their shit. But no. Oh no. Them? Nooo. Nope. She was in the zone of being completely wrong on this issue, and of not caring, and of where she comes from. The land of white entitlement.
We are all on the same fucking planet, for real, and she is, for all intents and purposes, also some sort of human being – so why couldn’t she and her spawn play by the same fucking rules that apply (unfairly) to everyone else instead of capriciously arguing about something (covering our noses and mouths with masks so we don’t get sick or infect others with COVID-19) that is not up for discussion.
I tried to rise, but she thought I could be dismissed, that my health or that any other passerby did not matter as much as her freedom and right to walk around the neighborhood unmasked and stop at a corner to take pics of a hilly row of parked cars or whatever. You know, live.
She probably thought I was just another brown bitch to ignore. I will not be silenced, and I definitely will not go down quietly pretending this type of indifference isn’t happening, because it is, and it is deadly. I’m certainly done tacitly allowing my neighbors to burrow deeper into their bubbles.
And to the neighbor who was bothered by our noise and who came out to the window to tell me to pipe down because it’s Sunday I say, tell it to the dead, lady.