Damn, I’m An Asshole

it's true

I’m either an asshole or some fat dude in sweatpants is a very clever and fast thinker. So, I’m at the bookstore reading in a quiet corner. Out of the six or seven chairs lining the back wall only one is occupied and it’s by me. It should be mentioned that I was reading Justin Halpern’s book “Sh*t My Dad Says”.

shit my dad says

It’s worth mentioning because my bookstore bravado was most likely influenced by the straight forward no holds barred attitude of Sam Halpern, Justin’s dad who is the star of the book.

Like I said, I’m in a quiet corner. Footsteps approach. With the footsteps was a voice. Somebody talking. I understand it’s the bookstore and not a library. People talking in the bookstore is not the issue. Well, it’s not the issue when they are talking to other people. When they are talking to themselves and they sit down two chairs away from me, that’s when I have a problem. Reading out loud to yourself is just silly, but could almost be accepted…maybe. If it’s done super quietly, perhaps. So, I look at the guy’s book and it looked like it could have been a diet book or possibly something about aviation. Hearing the man say, “I didn’t fucking talk to that woman” followed by assorted grumbles and a couple of more profanities, it was clear to me that he most likely was not reading out loud. This dude was talking to himself.

With the words of Sam Halpern influencing my actions I decided to get snarky. Not necessarily rude. Just blunt, honest and to the point.

I looked at the man and said, “Are you going to be doing that the whole time you sit here.”
“What?” he asked. It wasn’t confrontational, he just didn’t hear me.
“Are you going to be talking the whole time you sit here,” I repeated.
“Oh man, I’m sorry. I should leave.”
“No, it’s not that. I just…”
I didn’t want the guy to leave. I just wanted him to shut up, but he cut me off mid-sentence and said, “It’s my condition. It’s my OCD and I haven’t taken my meds for a couple of weeks.” As he was saying this he gathered up his belongings, stood up and walked away before I could apologize and stop him. When he was just about out of view he turned to me, said sorry and hoped that I enjoyed the book I was reading.

Well, that made me feel like a jerk. The one time I finally decide to say something to an annoying person in the bookstore and it totally backfires on me. And trust me, there have been plenty of opportunities. Next time I’ll just tell the too loud and obnoxious teenagers to shut up.

I’m pretty sure talking to yourself is not a trait attributed to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but it is certainly a well known characteristic of Schizophrenia. My guess is that if you have Schizophrenia it is probably best to keep it low key and not announce it to strangers. I suppose OCD sounds less threatening than Schizophrenia.

Obviously, I felt incredibly bad, but at least I was able to read in peace. Thinking that, of course, probably makes me an even bigger jerk. Walking out of the store I couldn’t help but think, “I’m either an asshole or I got made to feel like one by a mad genius.” Either way, I lose.

Next time I will choose my words more wisely. I’m thinking something along the lines of “Hey man, if you’re having a schizophrenic episode, cool. If not, would you kindly mind shutting up. I’m trying to finish reading this book I refuse to spend money on and the store is closing in twenty minutes. Capeesh?”

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2 Responses to “Damn, I’m An Asshole“

  1. Coral says:

    Jeffrey… Stop being so awesome.

    Don’t stop. 🙂

  2. Lauren says:

    Sounds like one of my old buddies (James) from Achievement house… He totally would’ve said that… But I’m laughing that you said it?.. Coral, yeah… You, uh uh! Your’re morphing! Yikes!