The Mama Bear Incident

So, something happened yesterday that I’ve decided to call “The Mama Bear Incident.” To explain the incident, I need to mention a few things about our living situation. First, our current apartment is in a really busy part of town.  We share a parking lot with several local restaurants.  So far, they have all been very respectful of the fact that it isn’t just a business area, that there are people who live here too.  Sadly, not everyone in this area is that awesome.  A little more than a month ago, we had a Buddha statue stolen off our front step.  It wasn’t a small statue either.

Happy Buddha

Our Buddha, before he was stolen.

Who steals a Buddha?! Seriously, talk about instant bad karma.

I was crushed. It was the first time I’ve ever had something that I cared about stolen (I know, I’ve lived a charmed life).  Now, granted, it wasn’t a car or a bike or a laptop or a wallet or even a cellphone.  It was a plaster Buddha.  But it was mine damnit, and I trusted that it would be safe on my front step.

So I was already feeling slightly victimized.  Add to that the fact that the whole reason we are living here now is because we feared for our safety at our last apartment and made a quick move.  Our last neighbors were squabbling 20 somethings with a new baby and a tendency to have loud drunken parties and ride their snowmobile around the house at 2 AM (we were further out in the woods then).  But that wasn’t what made us move.  Oh, no.  We could cope with the yelling and the swearing and the calling the cops on each other. What did it was pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop at 1 AM that turned out to be gunfire.  And then pulling 8 bullet shells out of the driveway between our two cars on the way to work the next morning.  That was when we decided we’d had enough.

So that is the back drop to what happened next.  It is important to me that its understood this whole thing was rather out of character for me.  I’m quite rational usually.  I’d much rather have a calm discussion than a big fight.  In fact, I usually do my utmost to avoid confrontation.

Not yesterday.

Angry Faeries

Angry Faeries, my collaboration with emerging artist Hannah Wells (faerie on the right), 2007

About a month ago someone new started parking in the lot next to our house.  Now this is summer and most places hire extra help this time of year.  We’ve accepted this and didn’t really think too hard about it.  UNTIL.  Until this one particular truck started pulling in and out of the parking lot with the sub-woofer in his truck at FULL VOLUME.  I mean, window rattling, floor vibrating, ear drum damaging, cat scaring Full Volume.  You couldn’t even make out the music, just the THOOOM TH-THOOOM THOOM of pulsing bass noise.  And it wasn’t just in the middle of the day either. No, this particular truck was coming and going at odd early or super late hours and waking us up.  Again, every once in a while is okay.  I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I know I live in town and I know that is just life. But it was becoming EVERY DAY.  And I was really tired of it.

I’d considered leaving a note on the truck asking nicely for the owner to knock it off.  But the truck never seemed to be there when I was in a note leaving mood.  And when I’d see it pull out, it was already too late.  So yesterday I was talking to a friend on my front step when the bass started up.  “You hear that?” I asked my friend.  There was a pause in the thumping. “What?” she asked.  And then the bass started again: THOOOM TH-THOOOM, THOOOM TH-THOOOM.  She flinched and said, “Oh. That.”  The truck pulled up along side the house.  And then stopped, waiting to pull into traffic, thumping bass notes so loud I could SEE my windows rattle.

Something in me snapped.  I launched myself off my front step and ran up to the open window of the truck and started yelling.  “You need to turn that DOWN!  PEOPLE LIVE HERE.”  I went on like that for a full minute at full volume and ripped him up one side and down the other.  I really don’t know what came over me.  He just sat there the whole time, sort of smirking behind his sunglasses.  When I paused for breath his only response was “Alls you had to say was Please Stop.”  Well, fine then. PLEASE STOP.

He was right, of course.  I didn’t need to turn into a raging loon.  But his was the straw, as that old saying goes.  The owner of one of the restaurants caught the end of my little blow up, and, concerned for my safety, asked if everything was alright.  When I pointed out the truck and told him about the sub-woofer, he responded, “Trust me, that will NEVER happen again.”

When I finally walked back to where my friend was waiting, she looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Wow. I would not have had the guts to go running after a truck like that.”  Which is when the adrenalin started to wear off and I started shaking.  But just a little.

I’ve decided that what happened is that kid triggered my Mama Bear response.  My home and my family had been threatened enough in the past few months and I had finally had enough.  Did that kid’s actions warrant the response they got? No, not really. But once Mama Bear got loose, there was just no holding her back til she’d eviscerated something.  Or someone.  To be honest, I really didn’t know she was in there.  I guess that is a good thing to learn about yourself.  When it comes down to it, I will protect what is mine from whatever is threatening it.  Even if it is only a threat to my ear drums and sanity.

Still.  The big lesson today is that I need a better way to deal with my frustration.  I wish there was something like this around here!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by ~G on July 20, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Awesome rant Jess!
    That kid had it coming!

    Maybe it’s time for you and Matty to come up to Freedom for a little weekend get-a-way?
    Wadaya say?

    ~G
    gwarren@pivot.net

    Reply

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