A terrible person: A terrible description

Someone once told me I’m a terrible person. That is by far the worst… or best… insult that anyone has ever directed at me. Of course, everyone has been insulted before, myself included. I’ve been called jerk, asshole, prick, fag, dumbass, you need anger management, and a whole other assortment of childish monikers and ambiguous vulgar nouns. But never had I felt so hurt by the fact that someone had called me a terrible person. Why? That one statement that was so uncreative and so plain that one could say it without getting tongue tied? Because it was a real insult. It didn’t carry some picture in the mind’s eye of an old croney swearing at the kids on his lawn or some guy at a grocery store with twelve items standing at the eight items or less line. It was an upfront criticism of who people are. They stood judging my character from what they saw and they outright disapproved. It wasn’t even sugar coated with derogatory profanity equating me with a piece of filthy excrement. Normally in this kind of situation one would try to retort or defend themselves or even try to laugh it off. I didn’t do that. I sat there, shut up and contemplated my life like a sucker. Everyone had the right to be a person. I believe the United Nations proclaimed that in their charter. No-one on earth had any less of a right to that designation than anyone else. But to be the lowest form of person, a terrible person, that’s a horrible title to have. But then I realised, I am still a person. I have brothers and sisters. I have a mother and father. I have held the door open to let strangers ahead of me. I have been a secret Santa who stayed secret. I have hugged kittens and fed starving puppies. I worked during the day and longed to be a superhero by night like every other guy. And I was a terrible person. Cool. At that moment I realised, if someone thought I was a terrible person, they didn’t have to deal with me. If they didn’t like who I was they can submit their requests in writing when they needed anything from me. If they wanted to give me some advice on how to be nicer, I’d listen, but I didn’t have to accept it. I was happy being an asshole. An ecstatic asshole. Assholes are much more interesting people anyway. They even have a theme song.

Michael Ziegler

Michael Ziegler is a student at Algonquin College, in his second year of the Professional Writing program. He graduated high school as an Air Cadet and still walks around in polished leather boots from time to time.

Sites I Follow: Mcsweenys | Brent Weeks | EscapistMagazine