Dear Parking Lot Lumberjack,

The moment I disembarked from my car, I heard the screams of your young child. I recall wincing slightly at the initial sound, but other than that recall having little reaction to the screams. Even as I walked by your car with you coming up beside me to give a disgruntled laugh along with the words “You stupid little bitch,” I didn’t realize these comments were directed at me. Your calls after me finally forced me to turn around 10 yards later to calmly ask, “Are you talking to me?”

“Yeah you little bitch, making fun of my fucking daughter. She’s got problems alright! She doesn’t need any little bitches laughing her!”

You were screaming. I was confused.

I tried to explain to you how I hadn’t laughed, yet this only seemed to make it worse as your wife popped up from behind your car where she had presumably been attempting to calm your daughter to join in in the screaming at me. I continued to assure you I hadn’t done anything, but as you began yell for me to “get the hell out of here,” I decided there was no convincing you of anything else. I took my leave, spooked by the events which had occurred, hearing you yell to the car looking for a parking spot how I had made fun of your child.

I didn’t expect to still being thinking about my visit to Target Saturday, and yet because of you I can’t stop thinking about it.

To me it seems obvious I didn’t do anything wrong, but if I’ve learned anything it’s that that doesn’t matter.

There’s a quote in A Single Man where George Falconer’s students are discussing After Many A Summer Dies the Swan. A student poses the question to George whether Huxley is an antisemite over the quote, “the stupidest text in the Bible is ‘they hated me without a cause.” To which George replies that “no one ever hates without a cause.”

The very fact that I did nothing is irrelevant. You thought I did and so you found it necessary to defend you daughter. There’s something oddly respectable in that. This is the reason I’m still thinking about the events Saturday; the reason I can’t sleep. Were you wrong to defend you daughter? Maybe.

The natural instinct of a mother to defend her offspring is well documented. Whether it be a fawn, calf, or cub, mothers naturally protect their children in almost every place in nature. The same of course has been found of humans. Humans are particularly interesting in the sense that in most instances — mind you most — the father remains with the mother throughout the development of their child. They develop a connection to the child.

This sir is what I have to think has developed between you and your daughter. You only meant to protect her from the threatening beast that was me in my ecru button-down and red tie with khakis. The beast which wished to humiliate her in her weakest moment. There’s something truly respectable about the idea of a parent wanting to protect their child. What I think was perhaps wrong of you was your use of force.

When a bear protects her cubs, she does so to protect the cubs. She does not immediately attack, instead warning intruders to stay away from her home. She attacks once the use of force is overwhelmingly necessary. A strong foreign policy does not rely on a series of preemptive strikes. It responds to crises that occur and uses the degree of force necessary to deal with each individual situation.

This is where I think you were wrong to scream and make such a show out of the events in our shared Target parking lot. I don’t believe that laughs would have warranted such a bombastic response from you. You screamed, your face turned red. My attempts at trying to deescalate the situation by remaining calm had no apparent effect on you. Instead it led for your wife to join in the screaming. Three people screaming, two of them adults, another an upset child, yet you all sounded same.

Your daughter may have “problems” as you said she does, but these are most certainly the result of you and your wife. Whether it be a genetic disposition to fits of rage or the environment she’s being raised in, I can almost be certain from your response that the reason this child is throwing such a massive fit is because you’ve taught her this is how one gets what one wants. I can only assume this is what you too have learned.

I’m hoping writing this will make me sleep easier. It may not. I don’t know.

May your child live a thousand years,

Cameron “Stupid Little Bitch”

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