I Am Not Nice

I was at the Denver airport returning home on Sunday, trying to get to my connection on time. In the restroom, there was an older black woman, caught in the restroom doorway, her bags falling in disarray all around her. Women flew past her, stepped over her, were clearly annoyed and made angry remarks, like “How dare she have a lot of stuff! How dare she block the entrance with all her fucking…stuff!”

I was going to miss my flight, but I stopped, and helped her put the bags back on her rolling rack. They were tangled up in elastic because she had tried to put everything back together so fast because people were giving her all kinds of shit because she was in the way. I pulled the bags out and put them back in. Another woman saw us, and picked up a bottle of water that had rolled away from her rack. The lady looked up at me and said, “Thank God there are still nice people left in the world.” She beamed, and stood up, in her silky blue jacket, and she waved at me as I ran to catch my plane.

She was wrong. I am not a nice person. I just hate it when people ignore others who are in need. That makes me considerate, maybe, but ask anyone who knows me, I am not nice. I am a fucking bitch. I have been known to shoplift. I complain all the time. I am unbearable and annoying.

I have such bad physical problems from working so much that I have to rely on other people to take care of many of my most basic needs. I don’t know how to use an ATM machine. I am possibly the most manipulative person you are likely to encounter. If you look in the dictionary under “selfish”, you will see my name and a small artist’s rendering of my face.

The people in my world who love me the most live in a kind of hell from which they cannot escape, because even though I am who I am, what I am, how horrible I am, my love is overwhelming. This terrible incarceration they choose willingly, and their suffering is compensated many times over.

I am ferociously mean and unbearably kind, and this paradox is what keeps my friends close and my enemies closer. I hate injustice, dishonesty, cowardice, greed, stupidity – but that doesn’t stop me from committing all of these acts in one way or another. I am not nice. Not in the least. But that will not stop me from helping you.

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