Short story from Ezekiel Jarvis

Fearful Symmetry

I could go right down the line. All of the bullshit. Start small, with those little pricks who are polite to your face but who you know call you a pig twenty seconds later. Probably because they think that the black kids do and that’s cool to them.  They’re not terrible, but they grind you down, not being able to call them out, because you know their parents would pitch a fit.

But that’s still kind of small time. Take the Black Lives Matter crap. I get it that their neighborhoods are tough. I’m called to them enough that I get it. But what are we supposed to do, not arrest any black people? I’d like to see them try to be a white cop. Good fucking luck. If you go easy, the people from the neighborhood will expect you to always back down, and your buddies are done trusting you. If you’re too much of a hardass, you could lose your job after a couple of people complain or you could be the target of some thug. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

And then, on top of all that, there’s that fucking tiger. They said it was supposed to be like a mascot or something. I don’t know why it would be a tiger. We’re in the middle of a fucking city. But they keep the tiger right where we all come in. Stupid, right? And I asked what the deal was. I asked Morris, “You going to just let this thing stay out here?” So what does the prick say? He doesn’t look at me, but he says, “Out of my hands.”

I tried asking him whose hands the tiger was in, but you know how it goes. By the end, he just said, “Look, as long as you don’t do anything to agitate the tiger, you have nothing to worry about.” Like it’s up to me not to rile up a god damned tiger. Like if something happens it’s my fault.

You’d think that everyone felt that way, but leave it to fucking Evans to take Morris’s side. A bunch of us were talking, and pretty much all of us agreed that this whole tiger thing was bullshit. But then Evans said, “It smells fear. You have to not be afraid.” Now think about that for a minute. There’s a deadly creature that you have to see every fucking day. You can’t not. And you’ve been told not to agitate it, and then you’re told that if you’re afraid, you’re agitating it. Makes a lot of sense, right?

And don’t tell me that nothing’ll happen. Just yesterday, Jameson got his face clawed. Yeah, Jameson was being stupid, trying to take a selfie with the tiger, but, come on. Bringing that thing in, we were just asking for trouble. It’s just common sense. But nobody knows what it’s like, and that’s why nobody gives a fuck, and that’s why it’s not going to get better. Go fucking figure.