I thought words would never hurt me. Until tonight.
I was taking the train home after a late dinner with cousins. I felt that in terms of “financial karma” — if I spend responsibly, bad things can’t happen — it was the right thing to do.
Cold weather be damned, I hopped on the Q train towards Astoria, and made it to the 39th Avenue stop before things took a bitter turn.
Five or six high school-aged kids came through one train car into ours, and their immediate rowdiness and crassness didn’t bother me. Until I became their focus.
Three of the kids pointed at me, and proceeded to call me all sorts of insults on the fat scale. Fat was the least offensive, so was ugly.
I’ve worked so hard to even be where I am now, and five or six disturbed youth aren’t going to ruin that, at least not after tonight. Tonight, I’m shedding a few tears, because more than being hurtful, it was scary. These kids showed no remorse for their comments directed at me, or anyone else on the train that became their target. I honestly didn’t know what their next move was going to be, and that scared me.
At the end of the night, even as I sit here writing this in tears, I’m coming home to a safe place, and to someone who loves me. I don’t know for certain that it’s the same for those kids, and maybe that’s even sadder.