Thursday, April 21, 2005

A subtle shift of power

My week has been marked by two diametrically opposed concepts: fear, and support. First, the good stuff, because it matters more.

Support: Yesterday's column has unleashed a wonderfully warm flood of niceness from readers. I also continue to be deluged by calls from friends and family. Everyone's so concerned and so caring. That's pretty much all I need to know that the world is still a cool place to be.

Fear: I still find myself looking over my shoulder as I ride. Every car I see that matches the individual's vehicle causes my blood pressure to spike until I see the license plate and verify that it's not his.

But what stands out in my mind is how support must - and does - trump fear. I won't be cowed by anyone, much less a bully. He had no idea who he was dealing with when he decided to get out of his car and play the testosterone card.

On the off chance that he read the paper, learned my name, Googled me and found this site, I have this message for him:
Now that you know who I am, I hope you appreciate that I have no intention of backing down from seeing that every last option available to me as a victim of a violent crime is leveraged. You will pay for your mistake in so many ways, and you will do so simply because you chose to let your rage override whatever sense of logic you may have. Society finds this conduct unacceptable. Take some time to accept that, or find somewhere else to live.

Had it dawned on you when I read back your license plate number that I was going to legally nail your sorry rear end if you stepped over that line, you wouldn't be in this pickle now. I pray for anyone around you, for I'm certain your conduct was not an isolated incident. I hope your family members, colleagues and friends are safe in your presence, and I hope they, too, have the courage to charge you for whatever abuse you may rain down on them.

I very much look forward to seeing you in court, to staring you down and letting you see just where the power balance now lies. You thought you had power by virtue of your size and your anger. You were wrong. For the next few months, it will be your turn to feel fear; the fear of losing so much because you were incredibly stupid. I hope you'll learn something from this, but I doubt you're remotely capable.
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