what a way to start 2023 but hey i don't make the rules
Last week a sales guy from AT&T kept coming to my door.
It was like three or four times but honestly, at a certain point, it felt like harassment. I thought about saying that to him but stopped myself because I didn’t want to use that word and (also) I wasn’t sure if I was just being dramatic using it in the first place. In 2023, I have vowed to be more intentional with my words, as I understand preciseness has deep value in a society that commodifies spectacle.
Language of course matters and I want to be a person who is careful about the words I use. I want to take care in not weaponizing certain words, either, like harassment, a word that has at times felt overused in our current world… at the same time, these things are complicated. Many of us do feel as if our boundaries are too permeable and that we must constantly defend them. Others feel that we never had a choice so boundaries are irrelevant. On top of that, how we feel at any given moment is complex, layered, and can change through time and memory. This is why boundaries are limitlessly complicated. Sometimes something feels bad only after the fact. Sometimes some things just feel like the red-hot heat of harassment.
After the first experience with the sales guy, I sat with the feeling it brought up. As I closed my door and reached immediately for an already rolled j, my lifesaver, my adult crutch, I reflected on how bubbly and hot he had made me feel, how frustrating it was that he wouldn’t just listen to me after I kept saying, “I’m not interested” repeatedly, again and again.
I was bothered that he had disrupted my peace. After I returned back into my apartment, I noticed my lunch was cold. How long had he trapped me outside? I felt agitated… which isn’t a normal disposition for me. Call me a stoner, but I’m generally quite level unless I’m crying... But that fucker made me mad!
There were holes in his delivery, too, and in his product knowledge. It frustrated me. I felt like I was being openly scammed by AT&T. I was looking around to see if I was being punk’d in real time because it was so inconceivably mad. At one point the sales guy, trying to (I guess?) compel me to get this new phone line he was selling, started to write things down on his clipboard to explain why the offer was so good but instead of writing numbers he drew stick figures like I was a child. I stared at him, bewildered. Was this an episode of Nathan For You?
When I would ask him simple questions he would smile charmingly, fumbling on something that didn’t make sense and then change the topic like I wouldn’t notice, not once but a few times. I don’t know how these precious moments of my day were stolen by this deeply unequipped mediocre salesboy hellbent on getting his commission… but alas.
Curmudgeonly, at a certain point, the last time he came (so the fourth time) with a buddy, trying his last straw to seduce me with gadgets as if I gave a fuck about an iPhone 14, I had to be direct, blunt like a guillotine snap. “I’m going to close the door now,” I said in response to him asking me why I wasn’t interested, for the many-eth time. When I had opened the door earlier I didn’t realize it was him, but moments later, as my vision clarified, he stood like a jack in the box there like surprise bitch. It was either closing the door on him or destroying him with the wrath I suddenly felt, a bitchy unkempt anger he had now stoked. I was triggered. It felt ancient. Like all the nos I had said before being unanswered, this moment a total reflection of all those other moments of transgression… my therapist later explained to me that this is what we call reenactment.
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