Cover Photo: Giving An Account Of Oneself by Chris Okum

Giving An Account Of Oneself

I don't know why other men keep doing this to me. He's not the first man to knock the hat off my head and then tell me he's going to spit in my face if I don't stop asking him why he keeps knocking the hat off of my head. This is not something to talk about late at night with other people in the room. This is a middle of the afternoon topic. Men who sit behind me on the bus and knock the hat off of my head. I was taking the bus to the zoo. I wanted to see the new Russian kangaroo exhibit. I'm was sitting on the bus minding my own business when a man sat behind me and immediately started talking to me. He leaned forward and started talking right into my ear. He asked me if I liked sports. I said yes. He asked me if I liked to play sports. I said no. He said he's good at every sport. He said there isn't one sport he isn't good at. I didn't answer him. Then he knocked the hat off my head. I asked him not to do that again but he didn't listen to me. They never do. Men don't stop. They just keep doing what they're doing until they feel like they are done. I asked him to please leave my hat and head alone and that's when he said, I'm going to spit in your face. As soon as the bus arrived at the zoo I got off and bought a ticket and a bottle of water. I walked straight to the Russian kangaroo exhibit. The kangaroos looked bored. They were lying on the ground and watching us watch them. I was about to leave when the man from the bus came up behind me and knocked the hat off my head again. When I bent down to pick up my hat he bent down as well and said, I don't think those kangaroos like you and I think you've put them in a bad mood and ruined it for everybody else. I apologized and headed towards the British gorillas exhibit. The man from the bus was there when I got there. He was standing with another man, a much older man. I gathered the older man was his father because they shared a face. The older man handed the man from the bus a small box of popcorn. I moved in close to look at the gorillas. The gorillas were seated around a table made up to look like they were having afternoon tea. There was fine china and sterling silverware and the gorillas were acting civilized. One of the gorillas poured a cup of tea for another gorilla, who then lifted his cup and saucer with a perfectly placed pinkie. As I was looking at the gorillas the man from the bus came up behind me and knocked the hat off my head one more time. I turned around to pick up my hat and I heard the older man say, Now spit in his face. The man from the bus did not spit in my face. Instead he told the older man that he was only going to spit in my face if I asked why he kept knocking the hat off my head, and this made the older man quite upset. The older man grabbed the man from the bus by the crook of the arm and pulled him off to another part of the zoo. I stayed until the zoo closed. I took the bus home. A man seated behind me knocked the hat off my head. I did not turn around to see if it was the same man and I did not ask why he knocked the hat off my head.  Gorillas like their tea with lemon and a spot of milk.