I was at the mall the other day procuring some procurables from one of those spots that sells shit. It is my experience that many malls in America have ample free parking, but not the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, locally know as Pentagon City. Parking is $3 for two hours, $4 hours for three, etc., if you want to parallel double park that motherfucker sideways. That motherfucker would be your car.
They have several kiosks inside the mall that allow you to pay for parking in advance in the hopes of streamlining the exit process and reducing congestion at the exit lanes and stations. The other day when I was at the mall, I made my way to a kiosk to pay my $3 and a small line began to form behind me. Actually, behind me would be generous. The family of five that was next in line seemed to form a circle around me as if they were about to hold an intervention. One of the adults was so close to me, standing to my left, that I started to feel violated. I started to get anxious and wondered why she was so damn close to me. She was so close that she literally could have completed the transaction for me without having to take a further step in my direction.
At least she could have if I hadn’t looked in her direction and hit her with my best “I was told by Apple Care” voice “EXCUSE ME!” OK, I didn’t yell; I’m still black and not stupid. But I had to aggressively let her and her brood know that they needed to step back, they were standing kind of close. And it annoyed me because why the fuck would anybody stand that close to anybody in the first place? For fucking why??
She and her ilk aren’t alone in their lack of respect for personal space. I’ve been (and you have been) in many situations with people who don’t seem to understand the principle. As a point of note and clarity, I’m largely talking about places where personal space is possible. Rush hour subway cars and buses are excluded as is all of New York City and music festivals. You can’t even fake try for personal spaces at music festivals. You get the point. Some places are impossible to expect personal space.
To be clear, I hate every one of you bastards who have no respect for personal space. Every. Last. One. Of. You. (With some exceptions, more on that later.) There are lots of annoying things in life but people who hover over your front, back, or side to side, breathing their hot mouth breath on your neck or even in your vicinity annoy me with great viscosity. No, that word doesn’t fit. Yes, I’m leaving it. Nobody who doesn’t know you should be so close to you in any situation that they’re effectively touching you, just because.
And don’t get me started on white people in nightclubs. Oh hell, I feel started. Let’s talk about it. I try to avoid white clubs—you know, places where shit like “Ice Ice Baby,” House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” and Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” mixed in with some Blink-182 are required listenings—for a few reasons: 1) drunk white people (men and women) are the most dangerous people in America, bar none ; and 2) white people have zero fucking respect for personal space in nightclubs, especially when drunk (see No. 1).
Every single thing black folks ever learn about how to navigate time and space in a night club to avoid altercations gets thrown out of the window when going to a white nightclub. Seriously, white clubs are always Altercations in Progress. Shoes are getting stepped on. Drinks are being spilled with reckless abandon while Becky and Chad either avoid you all night or don’t leave you alone ever and personal space or the attempt to maintain some are foreign concepts.
In black nightclubs, folks do their damndest to avoid touching you even in the most impossible of situations. Not in white clubs, my friend. Fuck your space. This is why I don’t go to them because I feel like my blood pressure is always on high and I feel triggered. Even The Police said don’t stand so close to me. White folks love cops; comply, bitch.
Mostly I don’t even get why YOU don’t feel like you’re too close to me. I feel it so you have to feel something. At the very least you feel the heat from my soul shooting heatrocks at you, waiting for you to inch close enough for me to consider tossing some tension in the air so you can catch this fade. Why are you space invaders like this?
And I recognize personal space invaders isn’t a flaw reserved for white people. Some people just suck at (or are incapable of) discerning what is an acceptable amount of space. And this is where the exceptions come into play: There are some folks who just cannot discern what a reasonable amount space between me and you, your mama and your cousin, too, might be. For instance, some autistic people struggle with personal space. OK. That’s fine. I don’t love it but it happens.
But that’s not all of you people. Some of you are just inconsiderate, self-centered individuals who don’t see why I need more space even though we’re basically in each other’s clothing at this point. You? I fucking hate you. With a passion. Do you remember that soap opera, Passions? It was terrible. That’s how much I hate you. I hate you enough to associate you with a shitty soap opera. You are The Haves and The Have Nots. You are Madea Goes to Jail and Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor rolled into one big ass turd sandwich to me.
Fucking stop it. Be better humans. I hate you.