Hate Crimes of the Future

27/07/2009

Later, at the police station, I was able to open my right eye a little, but the outside world was still blurred and a rivet of pain shot through my face. I was trying to explain to the officer what had happened.
“I was walking home and I heard someone yell out ‘Hey, Fag!’, and then I was just getting hit. I can’t remember much else.”
“They said ‘Hey, Fag!’?” asked Officer Maltrone, hovering over a notepad.
“Yeah.” I said.
“You ever seen these guys before?”
“No.”
“So it was a hate… crime.” he spoke as he took notes.
“Uh, I guess. I’m not gay, though. I don’t know if that has any bearing.”
He stopped and looked at me.
“They probably thought you were. Were you wearing that scarf?”
“Yeah.”
“Hey, George.”
George was leaning against a door frame over the other side of the office, bulging out of his Sergeant’s uniform just above the pant-line. On hearing his name, he stopped taking bites out of a very large ham and salad sandwich and strolled towards us.
“What’s up?” he said.
“Is fag-bashing still a hate crime if the victim ain’t actually gay?” asked Maltrone.
“Well,” he began, “what you gotta look at is intent. Even if you ain’t gay, the guys were out to bash a fag and if they thought you were one, then it’s intent to bash a fag. Were you wearing that scarf?”
“Well, yeah…” I said.
“Well, then, there’s also the element of intolerance. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that these guys take exception to the way you dress, in this case, a terribly disgusting scarf. An eyesore, even. To an extent, they’re not just being intolerant of you, they’re being intolerant of the scarf, the style you appropriate, the store you bought it in, even the designer him-or-her-self. Either way you look at it: hate crime. Big time. There’s no room for intolerance in this world. Fags of all shapes and sizes should be allowed to walk the streets unmolested. Why in a perfect world…”
I lost focus at this point. My head was swirling and swimming butterfly, the strangest of all strokes. I was the victim of a hate crime. My world was now irrevocably changed. I pulled my scarf up over my head and tied it under my chin. I started to cry.
“There’s a survivors of hate crime support group I can recommend…” said Maltrone.
“No,” I said, weeping, “I just want to be left alone. To get on with my life.” and with that, I fled from the building. My career in prostitution began that night.

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4 Responses to “Hate Crimes of the Future”

  1. Truett Says:

    Constructive criticism: fat straight policemen don’t talk that way; they don’t understand that a scarf, even an ugly one, might have a designer. Gays don’t wear scarves that can be described as disgusting by straight people. Also the butterfly part took me a few reads to get. This was easily my least favorite of your stories. I’m sorry :( Maybe you should stick to writing about me.

  2. ljuke Says:

    Ah, but perhaps having your comment there makes it all worthwhile! Constructive criticism is always welcome.

  3. Yossarian Kilgore Says:

    I never thought this was taking place in ‘the real world.’ I assumed it was a sardonic allegory, in the spirit of Leyner meets Kafka.

    That earlier criticism is like saying, “Sorry Franz, baby, but ‘The Trial’ just doesn’t make sense. As if the real law court would arrest somebody and refuse to inform him of the reason for his arrest. Try again; write about bugs ‘n shit some more.”


  4. I think it’s great apart from the last line which I didn’t buy. i like that there’s a discussion about hating the scarf or the fag, though maybe some more disagreement between the cops on whether it would be a hate crime if not gay. One of my favourites – apart from last line. I would have preferred him to have left, leaving the cops arguing about it.

    Yeah maybe fruity rather than disgusting scarf.


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