Dear Bob – Raven Oak

Dear Bob

Yesterday should have been a good day. A great day even. My partner had her first appointment regarding HRT with a new doctor who only treats trans-patients. The doctor herself (and her assistant) were amazing, as was the appointment, but it was the lead up to it that colored my day and ended up the subject of today’s therapy appointment. (Yes, I see a therapist. So should most people to be honest.)

Yesterday, I was verbally assaulted.

A old man by the name of Bob (that’s what they called him when he went for his lab work) decided that I was the reason for all the pain and suffering in his life and that all of it stemmed from the fact that I was masked.

So I decided that it was time to write a letter to him. I’ve written quite a few letters to folks on this blog–from contractors and movie directors to neighbors and other writers. It’s my way of dealing with the emotions that come from these various encounters. On that note…

Dear Bob,

A place holder image of a grumpy old man.

This is a place-holder image of an old man that I’m calling Bob.

I know that you probably have a miserable life, one filled with fear of the unknown and a certainty that you are dying sooner than you’d like. Based on my interactions with you yesterday, you’re probably dying alone, which can only add to the fear in your life, but none of these things gave you an excuse to verbally assault me, not to mention all the other patients in the waiting room.

I understand that you lack empathy. I understand that you also lack foundational science enough to understand how viruses work, how masks work, and why masking has returned. I know that logically, I am not the problem here, but you decided to make me a target yesterday.

While I feel bad for you and whatever existence you have that made you feel threatened by me and my mask, I also feel like someone should give you a swat on the ass and then maybe a hug.

Masks are required at Swedish Hospital. I know you don’t like that–you made it very clear to me when you cussed me out–but they are REQUIRED. COVID rates are horrible right now and my asking a LabCorp employee to adhere to Swedish’s rules was between me and the LabCorp employee. But you took it upon yourself to make it out you.

You shouted at me. You called me a bitch. You told me that you having to mask was “my fault” and that “all this garbage” was my fault.

Your voice and your demeanor were threatening and violent. All thirty patients in the waiting room were afraid of you in that moment. They wondered if you were going to attack me. Honestly, so did I. While you are old, you are still a white male shouting and frothing at the mouth at a short female-looking person. No one deserved to experience or witness that.

The LabCorp employees should have called security on you and kicked you to the curb, but they didn’t. They failed the patients in that waiting room, especially me.

But more than that, I think they failed you as well. I’ve never done well with men yelling at me. Childhood trauma stays with us, especially emotional and verbal abuse, and I have to wonder who failed you in your life that you felt the appropriate response in this was to verbally attack a complete stranger.

Dicks hamburgers sign from UW districtWhile I’m angry that you made me afraid, I’m worried for you. Getting “COVID three times and not dying,” as you said, isn’t something to brag about. I wonder how much damage your brain has suffered in that and whether this influenced your decision making yesterday.

I truly hope you get some help.

If not, as we say in Seattle, you can eat a bag of dicks. 😉


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