It’s not like I keep a written record of it or anything. It’s a mental list, only permanent enough that I can pull it from a cognitive file. It’s positioned at the front of the top drawer of the cabinet, so that I just have to pull it out barely enough to let some light in, to add to the folder and at the same time be reminded of the archived records I hold against the rest of humanity.
And it’s not as though it’s actual people. No names. It’s just a collection of archetypes. The person who idles their car at the curb. People who overwater their lawns. The guy who leaves the shopping cart out in the parking lot (though Karyn suspects it’s an overburdened woman, 8 months pregnant and with 4 other kids trailing behind through the store aisles). A hypothetical individual who lies about the nature of our country, erodes our democracy, and pumps oxygen into embers of ignorance and hatred. And then there’s the woman who talks on her phone, loudly, echoing through the neighborhood in early morning hours instead of paying attention to her dogs or simply enjoying her stride with mountain views.
And others, too. The problem, I realized as I started mentally fingering through the pages of the file, is that they are all too revealing. Rest assured, they do not include you.
But, I’m afraid, they do include me. My disdain for humanity represents another person I despise, the judgmental, hypocritical, self-absorbed self that is perhaps the all encompassing category where my vitriol is distilled.