When I was first learning to ride a bike, I’d practice going up and down the street, on the sidewalk. One of those first times, I lost my balance and my bike ended up on my next door neighbor’s immaculate lawn. They were a nice retired couple. The wife, Helen, would sometimes come out when we got off the school bus and give everyone popsicles. Nice woman.
But at that moment all she saw was some kid with a bike on her lawn and I remember her yelling, “Get off of my lawn!!!” For some reason, I still think about that to this day, just how enraged she was. I wasn’t trying to do anything bad, wasn’t trying to mess up her lawn. It’s just, I was still learning how to ride a bike and I lost control. She didn’t understand that, she just thought I was some punk kid, and that deeply troubled me.
I think stuff like that still bothers me, even now. When people get upset at me and think I’m malicious. It’s vitally important for me that people realize that it’s not evil intent, it’s just cluelessness, inexperience, or something like that. Why is it so important? I’m not sure. But it is. When people get angry at me and think I’m evil, it drives me crazy.