Hate Inc. — Part III

[Neoplatonism & Ford-250s in our 3rd installment. Just new here? Catch up with part i & part ii]

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Sarge picks me up in his F-250 from the bus stop I’m standing at after the session, “DUI,” I tell him as some sort of embarrassed explanation. “I didn’t even have that much to drink.” He shrugs and wonders why I didn’t Uber. I’ve had issues with Uber, frankly, and the attitude of some of their drivers.

“Too many P–––s?”

I hadn’t really noticed, to be honest. Which I keep to myself.

“One of them tried to rob me,” I tell Sarge. “We got into an altercation and it came down to whose interpretation got believed. Who was trying to rob who. Who started what. Of course, the company took the driver’s side because, like, they want it to be publicly known that they employ thieves, right?”

“Huh,” is all Sarge says. I think. With that lock-jawed delivery of his, it’s not always easy to know if you’ve heard right. Especially sitting beside him in the truck and only getting a profile view.

“Be on my bike before you catch me on any bus,” Sarge then says as he bears down to a tailgate on the car ahead of us, close enough that we’d wind up in the backseat with any sudden stop.

“Be your own man,” he continues, staying right on the guy’s ass despite a noticeable uptick in speed from the car ahead of us. “Get to where you’re going your own way, yeah? Not dependent on anything but your own labour, you know what I’m saying?”

Sarge swerves from out behind the car and pulls up dangerously close beside it, slowing enough to be able to gaze down into the driver’s side window. The driver, a young kid, by the looks of it, wants no part of this exchange, braking in an attempt to drop back behind the truck. Sarge slows his truck to keep pace. Where this is going, I’m not sure. I don’t think the kid can even see up into the truck’s tinted side windows.

Sarge then suddenly guns it, tearing off down the road. Talk about your weapons of mass destruction. Big and fast, these beasts. A friend of mine owns one, a 150, not quite on this massive scale. He talks about the head wounds he could inflict with it. “Lethal as a gun, dude,” he says.

“Buses, man,” Sarge says, slowing the truck back down to near the speed limit. “They’re for the destitute and immigrants, you know what I’m saying?” Anyone over 30 riding a bus should reexamine their life to see where they went wrong. “Margaret Thatcher. Know her?” he asks. “Old British Prime Minister. Tough as nails that one.”


I’m beginning to wonder if he just offered me a ride so he could talk shit. Kick sand in my face or something. He hasn’t asked my address or which direction I’m even going. That he could be taking me way out of my way doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for him.

Of course,

No one forced me to accept his offer of a ride.

“Get in,” he growled through the open passenger side window, screeching to a halt, partially up on the sidewalk, in front of the stop, forcing a few steps in retreat from a couple of the other bystanders. It felt less like a request than a command. The guy goes by the nickname Sarge, after all.

I obliged, not wanting to make any sort of scene, a bigger scene, I guess, then Sarge had already made with his aggressive appearance. Had he been following me, I wondered as I climbed up into his truck, or just caught sight of me as he passed by? I pushed aside the unsettling prospects of the first option, despite a tendency I had to imagine the worst in everyone. I told myself this would be a good opportunity for some field research.

You see, Sarge had his ilk aren’t really my people.

I say this not yet really having a handle on Sarge. He seemed, if not smart, at least knowledgeable. He hadn’t come across as your common garden variety racist or sexist or anti-gay guy. I imagined him having bigger beefs although his behaviour behind the wheel of his F-truck during this ride was harder for me to categorize.

Road rage. Roid rage? It isn’t always possible to distinguish between public performance and just being a straight-up psychopath.

“You military?” I ask him as he flies through a red light.

“Now, why would I do a thing like that, you think?” he responds.

Well, the nickname for starters. His gym- made physique. The whole demeanour, package.

“What would I be going to war to defend at this point?”

“So, you’ve never been in the military?”

“What did I just tell you?” He blows through another red light, almost as if he’s timing the ride deliberately.


Sarge is definitely not my people.

What exactly do I mean by My People, you ask? Who are my people?

I know what you’re thinking and it’s not like that at all.

We are the fucked and the forgotten, OK?

Everybody who was promised a good life. With hard work and dedication, perseverance, etc., we’d prosper and be happy, well, if not happy, content. Prosperous and content.

That’s what makes it different for us, our particular fucked and forgotten, as opposed to everybody else, black people and other races, gays and all that, women even. Nobody promised them shit. Not really. Not in the order we’d been given. The hierarchy. The Eternal Hierarchy in fact.

“When did we raise such medievalist, Suze?” dad called off at mom, not really expecting an answer. Just another mocking response as I tried to explain my thinking to him. “Was I out of town or someplace when you taught him about the Great Chain of Being?”

Yeah, whatever, old man.

A Natural Order.

That’s what I’m talking about.

You don’t have to be born to it or with it.

A Natural Order of Excellence. Excellence Above All.

That’s what I’m talking about.

That’s what I’m all about.

And yet, here I was, driving around town aimlessly, with a guy named ‘Sarge’, blasting through red lights, harassing motorists and terrorizing pedestrians for no apparent reason. Like a couple teenagers who just got their license, joyriding in dad’s monster truck.

Be careful out there, boys, dad says, tossing over the keys, with a wink and a grin, telling us he means the complete opposite.


[Part 4 now available]


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