Misanthrope Short story Fiction

image of a newspaper

Misanthrope

Many call him the old grump whether they live next door to him or just run into him at the grocery store, he is always in a foul mood, seems to hate mankind.

His normal routine is to open his front door first thing in the morning to get his paper, that is what starts his day’s mood, if the paper is as it should be on his porch he considers it a good thing if not he loudly complains to no one in particular how inconsiderate and stupid the paper person is.

Next is his coffee, he takes his paper and his coffee into the bathroom sits and does his business in peace and quiet. When his wife was alive she would be appalled at this practice, so he would close the door so as not to hear her complaints. Since she has been gone for 10 years he has enjoyed this moment without a discouraging word.

After he is finished he resumes his day with his paper under his arm, walks to the local diner for some breakfast. Bad weather would not dissuade him in his mind mankind has gotten too soft. Marge the waitress has known him for 20 years; they get frisky now and then; well that was before she found the one as she calls him. No way can he be the one, in Joe’s mind the guy is a wimp who knows nothing about the world, or how a man should be.  

Curmudgeon could be a word to describe Joe, also misanthrope he really does dislike people. Joe doesn’t trust to many people, on a rare occasion he may actually will talk to someone, you will never hear him greet anyone with a good morning, or how are you. Joe wants to be left alone.

Many speculate that he may still be grieving the loss of his wife; others say he has been this way all his life. Joe is the topic of many conversations, people reach out to him and he verbally slaps their hands for trying.

Until one day when Joe was walking to have breakfast, he noticed a man shoving a young woman; Joe walked up and asked if the young man was brain dead. The man looked at Joe and told him to fuck off. Joe laughed and said “That shows you have lack of brain cells using such language when speaking to your elder”

At that the man took a swing at Joe; Joe stepped back and the fist missed him. Joe took advantage of the man’s footing being off center and gave him a shove. The man fell into the street and was hit by a car. The young woman screamed, “Oh God what did you do to my husband.”

Joe replied “Guess he was put in his place, no man should raise his hand to a woman.”

The woman looked at Joe and said “I am used to it, seems Mike was no different from my dad.”

Joe said “Then you need to learn how to defend yourself, and like yourself.”

The bystanders were amazed not only at the death of the man, but the fact Joe stopped to help this woman and the tender words he said to her.

Joe’s neighbor asked Joe “Say Joe, I think this is the first time I heard you speak and give a hand.”

Joe said “In the past if I tried to help, people wanted more, or when I would give my opinion they would scoff, why should I bother.”

After the police left Joe continued with his day and breakfast at the diner

 

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