Question: Where is the place of anger in the university?
preface/ apologia: I am a smoker, but I consider myself a courteous one. For the most part, I make an effort, when smoking in public – like, say, on campus – to find a place that is far enough removed from other people so as not to bother them.
Answer: Yesterday, after class, I sat down outside to smoke a cigarette. After finding an arguably secluded spot, I sat down and lit up. From a spot on a bench, about 50 feet away, I immediately heard a young woman cough. I looked up to make sure that I was not smoking anyone out, so to speak. The young woman, I felt, was not sitting close enough to me to be bothered – or so I thought.
Somewhere around two minutes later, I found my post-class/ pan-cigarette reverie interrupted by the very same young woman, who approached me aggressively and stood over me.
“Your smoke,” she said, staring me in the face, “is blowing right in my face.”
I was dumbstruck; I stared.
“I wish I could fart in your face;” she said, lifting her leg in the universal sign for the act of flatulence, “you deserve it.”
Then she stomped off.
Epilogue – The Squirrel & The Crow
After the young lady left, I found myself once again staring off into space, pondering the bizarre episode, when I realized that a squirrel had taken up residence on a branch directly within my line of vision. It was perched there, leaning forward, in a pointedly aggressive fashion, and it proceeded to give me the stinkeye.
Eventually the small rodent left, only to be replaced moments later by a crow, who, after making his way up the sidewalk in his awkwardly crowish gait, leaped up into the same tree and turned toward me. His neck feathers were puffed and ruffled, and he thrust his head forward in an act that I can only describe as avian hostility (as though he were fighting for a mate). He then proceeded to warble at me in deeply guttural, measured tones, his beady little bird eyes locked on mine.