Me: What? Oh, uh, no. Here.
I hand my copy of Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages over to fellow student.
SES: Why would you want to read about milk?
Me: Because it's interesting to me and it might help with my thesis.
SES: Well, why not read about Harvey Milk, he was a gay rights activist.
Me: I know. Don't really know much about him though. I just honestly don't have much interest.
SES: Aren't your kind supposed to care about this kind of stuff?
And now we reach the point where my eyes widen just enough to let him know that I'm struggling to hold back verbal abuse and viciously beating him with a wooden chair.
I've learned in the past few weeks that I'm now apparently known by people in the English department as "the Food Guy." Literally. I've actually met people for the first time in my department who have heard of me and now refer to me this way. "Oh, you're the food writer." It's also known I'm gay. What else is being circulated, I'm unaware. I prefer to keep it that way.
However, this "your kind" crap is a bit out of line (by which I mean completely). Now this may be a joke but from the tone of voice I have no idea. It could be an honest question, it could be friendly sarcasm, maybe he's trying to be offensive, or it could just be plum stupidity. Even if it is supposedly friendly I've only shared words with this person once before. I wouldn't even call him an acquaintance. To be this frank and offensive without any proper context is either dumb or he really is just in need of a good
Me: Uh... well, I've been busy.
SES: Well, I guess as long as it's one kind of milk or another I guess the gays are happy, right?
Fellow student laughs. Normally I just wave crap like this off. For some reason, today, not so. I. Am. Enraged.
Me: Fuck you. The book is about milk because I'm interested in the history of the subject. Furthermore, I don't even have time for the rest of what you just said and just what was so 'effed up about it! Just...
My voice trails off. I gather my backpack and walk out and away as fast as possible. My entire self is balanced between exploding in anger and violence, breaking down and crying, and dying of embarrassment. I'm literally so pissed off that for once in my overly verbose and talkative life I can't actually speak anymore. My brain tells me to bolt out of the building. To hide. I need to hide. I do not want to prolong this or have a second encounter.
I exit the building and hide behind a giant piece of what I assume is air conditioning equipment or a generator the size of a mac truck. I attempt to remind myself to breathe, my lungs beginning to suck in air greedily and push it out as fast as possible without lapsing into hyperventilation. Quietly, I swear to myself in a chain of colorful language that would peel paint of a wall and cause babies to cry.
Slowly, my anger subsides. I was never able to hold onto a bad mood. A good thing I guess. However, being around me during the 10 minutes I'm pissed is inadvisable, many innocents have been tongue lashed to near death. However, the fire burns out quickly and my rational mind kicks back in. I simply cannot stay angry at a situation or person for very long.
I am now left with 23 minutes before class to figure out 1) how people can be this stupid, 2) when I can see the Milk movie because, sadly, I really don't know jack about the guy, and 3) how someone can confuse a book with a giant milk bottle on the cover for a biography about a dead politician.