I am a writer. I have been keeping journals, poetry books and so on since I can remember. When I was in elementary school I did a writer’s fair. I am currently working on a book which I feel like will be ready some time the middle of next year. Additionally, for years now I have been blogging. In my blog I usually write about things that are important or simply amusing to me at the time.
Recently, I received a bad bit of writer’s block. I have not been able to finish something I wrote in almost 4 months. Being a writer I did what I usually do when I have a problem. I wrote about it. I put up a post on my blog explaining that I haven’t been writing because I had gotten a bad case of writer’s block. Someone responded to my post. I am paraphrasing here but essentially they said that I had writer’s block because I wasn’t writing about what was really bothering me. They asked if something had happened.
I did not respond to this person. However, I though a lot about what they said and they are right. I haven’t been able to write because something really horrible happened to me. It wasn’t my fault. It was unfair. It was very scary. I feel embarrassed because I didn’t see it coming. Due to my catholic upbringing I believe in some strange way it is my fault. However, it is not my fault. And I am finally ready to write about it.
In the month of August I was both living and working in Hilo, Hawaii. I worked in one of the 2 safe places for “haoles” or “white people” to hang out. On one particular night in August a girl came in with 2 friends. I gave them their bill and they left payment on the table. They both didn’t leave enough and they wanted to pay the majority of the bill in change. I asked my co-worker about it, she said I should go and tell them that they can’t pay in change. I did. They didn’t have enough cash, but they had a debit card. They paid the rest of their bill and they left. They didn’t leave a tip. But that’s life.
I thought that was the end of this story, and in some ways I wish it was. After that girl left she went home and posted a negative comment on the facebook wall for the restaurant I worked in.
The owner of the restaurant saw the post and started an online argument with this girl. For whatever reason, the girl thought she was having this online conversation with me. I was receiving phone calls and texts from my boss during this ordeal. She was checking facts with my co-worker and myself. I didn’t have anything to hide and I told her exactly what happened. For whatever reason and I am really not sure why, I never saw these comments that were going back and forth between my boss and this girl. I tried to find them that night and the following morning but had no success.
The next morning my boss asked me if I would go with her to apologize as the girl was talking about bringing legal action against the restaurant. I was more than surprised that things had escalated so much. When the girl left the restaurant things seemed fine. I agreed to go and talk to this girl about what had happened. I didn’t have anything to lose and I really wanted to situation to be remedied.
My plan was this. Go in an apologize for having made the girl feel bad and go on with my day. I knew the girl hadn’t left enough money and she didn’t leave a tip, but who cares life is short. I was just going to bite the bullet, apologize and go on with my day and my life.
My boss wanted me to meet her at her office. I showed up on time and on bicycle. As I was locking up my bike I saw a 6 and a half foot tall, 3 foot wide, solid muscle man in his early 40’s. He was covered in tattoos and he had a bright red mohawk. This man was the father of the girl who now had a huge problem with me.
He and his daughter walked into the office first. I walked in after the father and the daughter. My boss was already there. We all walked in said our hellos and then we walked out to the back of the office building. It was a small parking lot near a park. I started off by apologizing. 10 minutes later the girl had me against a wall. Her father was cheering her on. He was huge. He was intimidating. He was screaming out “that’s what you haoles do, you lie, all of you, all of you are liars”. He was a father. But he wasn’t acting like a father. He was taunting and egging on his daughter. He was a fighter. She may have been a fighter. I am not a fighter.
They had mistaken my apology for an admission of guilt which was strange because I didn’t have anything to admit to. The girl was literally in my face with every part of her body forcing mine against the wall, she was screaming at me, trying to get me to confess. I wasn’t going to confess. I didn’t have anything to confess. I told my boss who was just kind of watching the whole thing go down to call the cops. She did. 2 hawaiian police officers drove into the area where we were talking and they were able to get the other girl to calm down.
They brought me inside. They kept the other girl outside. They talked to the girl outside first. Then they came inside to talk to me. I explained to them what I thought was going on. I also went into detail about how upsetting it was that the father and the daughter were using racial slurs to attack me. The cops could have not been more complacent. Essentially they told me “it is what it is. All the native hawaiians are racist and they deserve to be so because the white man stole their land”. I told the cops that I was thinking about getting a restraining order against the girl. My boss was trying to talk me out of it when the other girl who was working on the night of the incident came in. She asked what was going on. I told her, my boss told her, the cops told her and then she went outside. The other girl/my co-worker was native hawaiian.
In about 2 minutes time she came back inside to get me. She said the girl had calmed down and wanted to apologize. I asked why. My boss had claimed to be me online. There was a very long and drawn out argument which I can only assume got pretty heated. The girl was angry at me for something I hadn’t done. She felt like my apology was an admission of guilt.
After the apology I biked home. I talked to my partner about what happened and we made the decision to leave the island. I made the choice to quit my job. It was the only time in my live I have ever quit a job without giving 2 weeks notice.
My boyfriend and I sold everything we had that couldn’t fit into a couple of bags, we sold our scooter and we sublet our apartment.
My boyfriend left 2 weeks before me because he found work before me. In those 2 weeks I saw my old boss on more than one occasion. On all those occasions she apologized.
My boss was a haole who had been living on the island for 10 years. She knew what she was doing. She felt bad about it. She said she did it because she was drunk. She said she did it because she was trying to defend me. She said a lot of things. But just like she lied to the girl on facebook, she was lying to me.
I know why she did it now. It does not make things better that I received an apology from anyone. It doesn’t make it easier that I know why she did it. However, had she not done what she did I would not be where I am now.
I live in a wonderful place. I am close to my family. I am making new friends. I don’t have to deal with overt racism everyday. People want to hire me because of how talented I am. People want to hire me because I have a wonderful resume. I am not going to say “thank you” for throwing me under the bus. What I am going to say is “I won”.
Writer’s Block Cured
Note: All characters and events in this post-even those based on real people-are entirely fictional. All quotes are paraphrased, changed and altered…..poorly. The following post contains a story, which should not be read by anyone.