11.17.2008

Love Hate


Washington, D.C., seen from the proper perspective, in Arlington, Va.

Contributor’s Note: The day finds me on business in New York City, writing this post (and sharing my images) during a welcome reprieve from our city, Washington, D.C.—M@, publisher of Animal Mind.

**

Recognizable to patrons of the National Zoo might be similarities not only among species of the kingdom but between inhabitants and visitors—those animals in the primate house peering at one another from opposing sides of the glass.

Outside on the street, the observer loses this perspective, dissolving once again into his persona, only partially aware of the “intraspecific” territoriality that mirrors the behavior of those great apes incarcerated here by the zoo or the D.C. Department of Corrections further downtown.

Years ago, the walk down Columbia Road in Adams Morgan proves a visceral experience, my head bobbing in a fast-moving river of bumping shoulders, dirty looks and bad karma. A black midget stands on the corner by the bodega, smoking. “Fuck you lookin’ at?”

Nothing.


At 18th Street, a small crowd gathers on the far side of the intersection around a mound covered with a white sheet—fresh road kill—and I wonder if he’s Hispanic, imagining the funeral dirge. Ave Maria, mi amigo. As a former speechwriter for the U.S. Department of Transportation, I can tell you the annual pedestrian death rate here remains unparalleled in the nation at 62 per 1,000 residents, according to 2006 data. Most of those killed are Hispanic. Is this racism? I don’t speculate.

Independent traffic safety engineers, however, call the problem “multi-factorial,” citing a litany of problems including poor lighting, outdated infrastructure, speeding and, notably, racist drivers. Yet, a full 84 percent of pedestrian deaths in the District may be attributed to one simple causal factor, the failure to utilize a safety device standardized on the automobile in the mid-1960s—the turn signal.

Worsening the problem, the government advises visiting motorists to refrain from using their turn signals so as not to confuse locals, prompting the inevitable question, “But what if there’s a cop there?”

Answer: Especially, if there’s a cop there—because you don’t want the cop to think you’re a dork.


Click to enlarge: D.C. Pedestrian Algorithm exemplifies the most common interactions on the city's sidewalks.

Yet, however brutal the manifestation of our territoriality on the road, the sidewalks and pathways of our city prove that much more personal, filled with angry Homo sapiens dismounted temporarily from their vehicles. As I trot through Georgetown along the rain-slicked path by the Potomac River last Thursday, inane thoughts bubble randomly to the surface of my mind, evincing within me a deep hunger for embedded wireless connectivity, always.

I wonder how tall Muhammad Ali is?


My feet pound the ground.

I guess I could just ask someone.

My feet pound the ground.

It probably doesn’t matter though.

My pace quickens as Peter Gabriel fades into T-pain and I swing around the corner onto Arlington Memorial Bridge, careful not to slip on the pavement, heading back to Virginia. A throng of runners approach me in the dark night, some two dozen members of a running club, lights affixed to their baseball caps—looking like coal miners fleeing a ceiling collapse. As I move to the far right, four run abreast and I stare into the face of the man running toward me, who looks askance, pretending he doesn’t see me.

T-pain, give me strength.


Lowering my left shoulder, I brace for the impact, him for the worse but me spinning around as I lose my iPod, another runner flashing me an accusatory look, branding me the transgressor, the interloper on their bridge.

What the fuck?


As I continue along the bridge, a young woman, too, comes straight at me and I think of Ralph Ellison and his Invisible Man and wonder why they cannot see my white skin gleaming under the towering lights. She comes straight at me in a game of chicken I cannot now lose, bad karma emanating from my left shoulder throughout my body and into my mind. Stopping short, I catch her in my arms, her body glancing off my chest and spinning around, seeing me now, shock and bewilderment coloring her face.

And she’s just my type: thin, pretty, white with brown hair. A feeling arises in me hitherto fore unknown. I want to rape her.

In my animal mind, I force her against the railing and push into her, afterward tossing her over the side, burying her in the cold and the wet and the deep—satiating, for now, my love for the city, my hatred.


Click to enlarge: This diagram makes abundantly clear what happened on Arlington Memorial Bridge at approximately 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13.

76 comments:

  1. tsk, don't you know its the OTHER runners who have the right of way in DC? didn't you get the memo?

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  2. M@ be hatin' on the city; the city be hatin' on M@. Word.

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  3. Jesus Christ. Next time, stay in Virginia, please.

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  4. Well, I try to be considerate but that dude just came at me. If he wasn't with, like, 18 of his boys, I would have fucked him up.

    Word.

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  5. Doesn't it seem fundamental that since an army of hispanics are out there mowing the grass, using leaf blowers, and weeding those flower beds all along the roadways they are going to have a greater risk of being involved in a one sided contest between human and vechical? Wait, did that sound racist?

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  6. Spellbound, STOP it! You Virginia people are incorrigible!

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  7. Wait a minute... did you just say you wanted to RAPE her? What the fuck is wrong with you?

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  8. Sorry I meant vehicle. I have no excuse. I am not a product of the DC school system. Wait, did that sound racist too?

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  9. Anonymous--My psychologist has diagnosed me with something the DSM IV calls a "sense of humor."

    I've got a prescription for that, however.

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  10. Spellbound,

    Oh no, you DITN'T!

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  11. Oh right... rape is hilarious. My bad.

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  12. Anonymous--Just ask Al Franken. Right?

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  13. I love that diagram!
    outstanding..

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  14. Jen,

    Thanks! My boss was wondering what was up w/ all of the art supplies today!

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  15. I never use my turn signals. Last time I did the cops pulled me over and asked if I had been drinking.

    Because in Miami only drunks trying to not attract attention and tourists.

    I had not been drinking, or at least not enough to warrant getting pulled out of the truck and clubbed like a baby seal in Canada.

    I think I would fit in just fine with DC drivers.

    Nobody walks down here. So your flowchart would have to be modified for Miami use. No matter who it is - you move a little. Or a lot.

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  16. Lazy,

    Anyone down there could be carrying, too, I suppose!

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  17. I hate it when people don't use their turn signals... how fucking hard is it to go 'click'?

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  18. Meliss,

    I know, RIGHT!? But you can't do it here b/c it confuses people. They think you're just being weird.

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  19. Former speechwriter for the U.S. Department of Transportation, your posting sucked.

    Your story concept was good, your execution, piss poor. You are all over the place - kinda like the way you like to run on a sidewalk.

    You weren't as bad as Liz to make me wince, but man, you didn't even make me hate. Such a boring post sprinkled with attempts of trying to be controversial.

    Which is so getting old, by the way. Get a new song to play on that IPOD of yours because it's tired already.

    Perhaps you might choose to stick to adding value to this blog in the comments section only, because they were sometimes funny.

    (I guess because they weren't novel length or in need of cheesy artwork to help the punchline.)

    Bring back the KING!

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  20. anonymous fanNovember 17, 2008

    I don't know what kind of novels "yawn" has been reading lately... He/she should try to eventually work up to chapter books!

    Isn't it funny how all of the haters are anonymous and don't have the balls to identify themselves? I guess if they did, then they would have to stand by the snarky remarks they make.

    You made me hate DC already, especially if those are the people leaving anonymous comments. Keep writing, M@.

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  21. Thanks other anonymous,

    I guess the writing wasn't so bad. Meandering, sometimes, is the best way to get somewhere. And there's no point for the anonymous people to identify themselves because they're nobody anyway. I mean, unless Maureen Dowd is commenting on this blog. Maureen?

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  22. Isn't it interesting that the "brave" people with the nasty comments are always anonymous? I bet "anonymouse" turns right around and watches South Park where they seem to think that child molestation is humorous.

    And I bet yawn has a really exciting blog to the point where it/he/she had to go under cover with a non/blogger id because of all the attention it/she/he got from it's awesome posts

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  23. M@ YOU COULD PASS FOR HISPANIC IN SOME PARTS OF THIS WORLD

    NOT IN EL SALVADOR BUT EASILY IN CUBA, ARGENTINA, MEXICO ETC...

    I KNOW PLENTY OF HISPANIC WHITE BOYD

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  24. The graphics really brought it home for me. The bitch was asking for it--you can just tell these things.

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  25. I think the real problem here is that you are jogging. Why aren't you sitting at home watching porn like the other normal men?

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  26. holy crap...
    when you started with the zoo i was expecting penguins later- way to "disturb", dude. i had to stop and read it again thinking i'd missed something!

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  27. The diagram is spot on; the faux rape scene creeps me out, though.

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  28. Were the joggers who came at you whiteys?

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  29. Muhammad Ali

    Is 4 foot 1o inches tall he is technically a little person.

    First off there are millions of Hispanics and even more blacks so it a crime happens to us minority whiteys then its a hateful racist crime.
    They can afford to lose a few.

    When people come at me I look at something else and pretend not to see them and they see I'm not paying attention and rather hit something as solid and as muscular as me they are the ones that move.

    Remember its not rape if they secretly want it and who would not want it from you?

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  30. Carry a horizontal six foot spear as well as your ipod. That'll make the fuckers think twice about running into you.

    Your description conveys that sense of momentary insane anger well. Good on ya for not being all bland and fluffy.

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  31. Normally I just enjoy the male psyche and bits of artistic work without analyst but I am going out on a limb here to assist annoying anonymous with his (hopefully not her, please God) understanding.

    Dude, the rape is symbolic. No young white girls were actually thrown over a bridge in the making of this post. M@, Forgive me if I am in error, but she is the city, beautiful, surprising, moving too fast. Anonymous, please tell me I don't have to write you a book for you to figure out the rest.

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  32. Anonymous-- Were the joggers who came at you whiteys?

    Anonymous, You're damn right they were whiteys! You KNOW they were. White people can be so obnoxious sometimes.

    I hate them, too.

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  33. Spellbound: M@, Forgive me if I am in error, but she is the city, beautiful, surprising, moving too fast. Anonymous, please tell me I don't have to write you a book for you to figure out the rest.

    Spellbound, yes, I was actually afraid that the symbolism was too obvious. And, yes, the text was a bit meandering but, if you know anything about comedic writing, it's funnier that way. Going from A to C by route of B isn't always the most artful way to write something. That's how you write street signs, which are not supposed to be artful, unless you're in New York City and they're purposely trying to fuck with you.

    Best sign in New York ever?

    No Park Here Regardless
    Even Sunday

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  34. WHITE PEEPLE ARE THE DEVIL

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  35. who has ever felt intimidated by a jogger with an ipod? no one. ever. thats not to discount the fact that everyone drives and walks completely oblivious to the fact that anyone else might actually be using the same road/path. its about awareness, which in general in this area is entirely absent.

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  36. Ha! Hilarious. Yeah. I don't understand why people here don't get the logic sidewalk traffic. Just like a road, there is a "going" and "coming" section of the road. I can't count how many times my damn arm has been practically dislocated because some ass-clown or cunt as obliviously bumped into me. Even when I'm trying out of my way to avoid making body contact....

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  37. I feel privileged that:

    a) during my time in D.C., the closest I got to be run over was by the POTUS' entourage; and

    b) as a partly Hispanic lady, I outlived the odds.

    PRICELESS diagrams, M@!

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  38. Tigger,

    You know I love Latinas. Next time you're in D.C., you need to stop by my crib.

    Word.

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  39. This reads like a National Geographic article! Well written!

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  40. This reads like a National Geographic article! Well written!

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  41. This reads like a National Geographic article! Well written!

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  42. georgetown prep alumNovember 18, 2008

    b) as a partly Hispanic lady, I outlived the odds.

    What are you doing online right now? Shouldnt you be busy cleaning houses are something?

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  43. But like, a 13-year-old rape-y racist Liz.

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  44. The blogger makes his way to Matt's animal mind, only to find him outside, on the street.

    There are sweaty female runners surrounding him. Matt seems to be standing there, doing nothing.

    Suddenly, the blogger notices Matt's hand reaching down into his pants. Whats that he's doing there?

    Hmm.. let me see... adjusting my binoculars here...

    Yes sir. He's staring at pictures and then grabbing ahold of his pen and moving it back and forth over them.

    The things DC will allow in Public. now that's why I come to a blog like this.


    And on the bus today?
    I met the Queen of LA
    At least she said she was..
    who am I to say?
    She was sixty five and full of LIFE
    She had purple painted cheeks
    and glitter on her eyes

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  45. georgetown prep alum - LOL! Nice one...generic racist slur...

    At least I don't use my education and credentials as my identity. I'm too secure for that.

    m@ - police me, before I go all Rosie Perez up in here.

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  46. spellbound's got sum tigol' bitties!

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  47. And grandchilden

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  48. Georgetown Prep Alum works at a Starbucks, I think. Tigger, you're a mover and a shaker and I can't wait to collect on that debt you owe me.... ;)

    Spellbound's only got ONE grandchildren and some big ol' titties....

    Little Rat, how date you compare me to Liz. When I had sex with her, she was awful. She was all like, "Ow" and "What are you DOING?" I wish I hadn't even bothered.

    Alex, thank you.

    King, where you at today, homes?

    Turner, you'd be surprised with what I truly do get away with.

    Word.

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  49. J, When a woman is attractive, tell her she's smart. When she's smart, tell her she's attractive. When she's both ask her what she's doing Friday night. BTW, It's a good angle. I'm only a 34 D.
    Scarlett AKA Spellbound

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  50. Jtw,

    Tigger's got some big ol' tittie, too. And I'm not just saying that 'cause I'm drunk in a bar right now. She really does. That's what I love about Latinas.

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  51. Jtw,

    Tigger's got some big ol' titties, too. And I'm not just saying that 'cause I'm drunk in a bar right now. She really does. That's what I love about Latinas.

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  52. georgetown prep alumNovember 18, 2008

    At least I don't use my education and credentials as my identity. I'm too secure for that.

    The only way you could have ever attended the same schools as me was if they felt sorry for you and gave you a discount for being Catholic.

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  53. georgetown prep alumNovember 18, 2008

    LNS 4 Life!

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  54. The only way you could have ever attended the same schools as me was if they felt sorry for you and gave you a discount for being Catholic.

    November 18, 2008

    --Dude,

    The woman you're talking about is a successful real estate magnate, heiress, and boasts an iq of 168.

    Also, she has great tits. You are so outclassed by this woman.

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  55. Late Night Shots = low iq

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  56. See, the thing about a beautiful woman like that is she'll fuck me but... you? No. Not even.

    You remind me of a Virginia Tech alum. Or Princeton. Always gotta have the stickers on the car, the coffee mugs, the sweatshirts and the T-shirts.

    Hey, I'm a HOKIE!

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  57. I'm here. I like it. Vintage M@.

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  58. georgetown prep alumNovember 18, 2008

    --Dude,

    The woman you're talking about is a successful real estate magnate, heiress, and boasts an iq of 168.

    Also, she has great tits. You are so outclassed by this woman.


    Dude. The majority of the guys I went to school with do not have jobs and could care less about an iq. They own their own houses (some of them own several), are half tigger's age and spend most of their time either on the golf course, playing tennis, fishing or follow their favorite sports teams across the country.

    Honestly I cannot think of anyone I graduated school with who has a full time job right now.

    As for myself, I spend most of my time collecting model trains. Once in a while I surf and play lacrosse too.

    LNS 4 Life!

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  59. Georgetown prep alumNovember 18, 2008

    Hey, I'm a HOKIE!

    You went to VA TECH?
    Not a bad school at all.
    I support all VA schools.
    I dont go to the games in person though. I just watch them on my 65" flat screen.

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  60. Georgetown Preppy,

    It's great that you're rich and you'll never have to worry about your next meal but you lack intelligence. You'll never get the most out of life.

    You'll never write a good book. You'll never teach a great class. You'll never make any discoveries. And you'll never contribute to the post-human race.

    You simply exist, like the Magnolia tree in my yard. I don't like you. I like the black guy wearing the ill-fitting suit who asked me for a dollar today. I didn't give it to him. But I still like him better than you.

    And I am smarter than you. I have already transcended this existence. This happened it July.

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  61. King,

    With five monkeys, we can do anything. I'm drunk in Midtown Manhattan. I am not in Washington, D.C. I am happy.

    --M@

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  62. Georgetown Prep,

    I DO agree with you about Virginia schools and Virginia. This is one of the best places on earth. Virginia outclasses the whole DMV, for sure. Good stuff, buddy.

    Hold on, I need to order another drinkie.

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  63. I'm with you, M@. I feel sorry for the highschool kid... er, I mean... Georgetown alum.

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  64. When do the polls open so we can start voting out crap bloggers?

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  65. Yeaaaaah riiiiiiight... this blog hasn't seen this many comments/hits in how long? I'm so sure we're just gonna knock off the guy who gets 69 comments on his first post.

    uh huh... brilliant.

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  66. Hey, I came here for more hating on Mormons. WTF? Bring back the King!

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  67. hmmm...84% of pedestrian deaths are because of not using a turn signal??

    Damn, and here I thought it was because they got hit by a car. Silly me. Those pedestrians need to move a little faster, give drivers a challenge!

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  68. unrelated, but i called the cops about some guy trying to break into houses in my neighborhood (and mine in particular) this afternoon and was assured a cop would be around to talk to me shortly. that was over 3 hours ago. awesome, dc.

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  69. I read all the comments and forgot what the post was about. Damn, something about boobs, right? Now Lord knows I'm not wanting to be judgmental, but a grown man who has no job and plays with model trains? No wonder he doesn't want anyone to know who he is.

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  70. You should have raped the guy who ran into you. Rude asshole.

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  71. Yeaaaaah riiiiiiight... and so far about 1/3 of the comments are responses by M@ himself.

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  72. KILL EM' ALL

    LET GOD SORT EM' OUT

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  73. Yeaaaaah riiiiiiight... and so far about 1/3 of the comments are responses by M@ himself.

    --So that makes for 50 comments. Not a bad day's work, girl.

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