Black Friday

Every year, about two weeks out from my birthday, I am a miserable boy. I turn 32 on February 26 and all I’ve been thinking about—as I count the days til my Facebook wall is filled with birthday wishes—is Black Friday.

I know we’re months past 2013’s Black Friday and nearly a year away from 2014’s, but there’s footage replaying in my head of an obese black woman who’s been knocked to the floor of a department store and the riot spilling over and around her—like she’s a rock in a riverbed.

Why won’t she get up? Can’t she get up? She’s not pinned. She doesn’t look in pain.

Oh…

She has to put her wig back on before she’ll even attempt to get to her feet.

I can only try to describe how sad I feel when I watch this. But it’s not that I feel sad for the woman on the floor. And I definitely don’t feel sad for those people who’ve managed to squeeze and shove themselves through the sliding doors without falling down or losing their wigs.

What makes me sad is the realization that after 32 years of living there is nothing in this world that would get me to behave that way. No thing to make me trample. No thing to risk being trampled for. And that’s so fucking sad. There’s like this hole inside me, I guess, that no bargain can fill. It’s a type of love I’ll maybe never get my hands on.

So, pity me, Black Friday shoppers! Pity the birthday boy!

I do not think I’m better than you. In fact, I know I am not better than you. For I know not what makes you love the way you do.

But maybe you could recommend something? My birthday is coming up.