[December 26: Around 1:45 PM]
After the woman pulled out of the spot, I maneuvered into the right side vacancy as another driver tried to interfere from the left. As I hid my bag in the shadows of the passenger seat floor and covered it with a coat, some hunch coaxed me to look up. In my rear view mirror, the mustached man with the salt-and-peppered hair in his car behind me rolled down his window. Here we go, I thought.
He yelled: “Hey!” While still in the process of shielding my laptop, I rolled my eyes. He yelled again: “Hey! Get out of the car … you [fudging] [kitty]!” Although, he did not say “fudge” or “kitty” for that matter.
I sat up straight, a lump ballooned in my throat. I took a staggered deep breath before pushing the door open.
Christmas, aside my brother feeling ill, which is a notorious recurrence as it happens often to a Malone family member during the holidays, went down without a hitch. Everything was peachy until I stepped in dog shit en route to my car from a game-filled evening at a family friend’s home. Crappy land mines are apparent during the day, of course, but the piles still dupe the average runner during an exercise high. As a runner, I’m more concerned with the cars and potential icy spots. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the nutty and fruity aroma of whatever the dog had eaten until 85 percent home. Little did I know that this would precede a thorough vehicle cleaning and other holiday-related aggravation.
The fall-winter holiday season is still not over yet, and it’s understood that there will be some nervous and anxious drivers out on the road … aside the typical year-round asshats. In the past couple weeks, I’ve sent out tweets about Audi drivers; a couple had cut me off, one had honked its horn at me for driving 30 MPH in the city, and these same folk and drivers have just been driving like lunatics. Congrats, driver of Audis, you’re privileged to own such cars.
According to a New York Times article, the wealthier people drive more dipshit-ish. I have to agree, considering that I’ve got nothing on Mercedes-Benz drivers; with my experiences, they’ve been relatively conservative with their techniques. Saab drivers, however, are a whole different breed. They’re the kind to actually wait for you to exit the car and tell you they’ll beat the shit out of you. More about that in a minute.
On the way to Christmas (Eve) Mass, we encountered a driver, who felt that common courtesy was passe. My father, who was driving, waited for another car, whose driver was having a hard time figuring out whether they wanted to back out or turn around. The tail end was sticking out into the part of the road, which was also the top of a hill. Instead of guessing and taking a 50/50 chance of having a car zoom up the hill into his, my father kindly waited. The truck behind us, however, blared its horn. The truck’s nose rode practically up the tail of my father’s part of our journey as well, only to slam on the gas (like a winner) when heading in an opposite direction.
According to studies by the American Psychological Association, drivers — even the most temperamental and seemingly level-headed people — do have triggers. According to the article, counseling psychologist Jerry Deffenbacher is mentioned that his findings show that intervention and counseling sessions can help aggressive drivers, but these would not cure it. People can be cognitively aware, but triggers will remain triggers while driving. Perhaps hypnotism can play a part?
Of course, like every situation, closing your eyes and taking/focusing on deep breaths and/or counting to 10 can help lower the anxiety. Or just yell “Serenity now!”
In terms of common sense, there is uncertainty on how people will react in certain situations, whether vehicles are involved or not. People have weapons, guns and knives and even bombs, and provocation could be detrimental. Look at our friend, Deirdre Orozco in California. Enough said.
[December 26: Around 1:45 PM]
The woman nodded at me, thanking me for my patience as she helped her elderly mother into the car. Moments later, I had a 60-something Saab driver screaming at me.
“Get out of the car, you [fudging] [kitty]!”
My stomach wrenched. I felt a little nauseous to be honest. But I put my sunglasses on and kept cool. Unfortunately, I wasn’t invisible to monsters. I didn’t say anything, because maybe they’d just go away.
“What the [fudge] is wrong with you?”
I asked: “What do you mean?”
“You took my [fudging] spot.”
“Sir, no, I did not. The woman and her elderly mother in the green car pulled out. I was waiting patiently for over a minute. Then you pulled around the corner.” My tone was direct and dry.
“[Fudge] you. I was going to pull in. You took my spot. “
At this point, I wanted to tell him that if he had thrown a spear with a flag to claim the spot as his own, I’d let him occupy it. However, this was not the case. Instead, I shook my head.
“[Fudge] you. I will beat the [snot] out of you,” he told me. Although, he did not say “snot.”
“Nice mouth,” I told him while walking away. After venting and laughing (nervously) about it, my father said I should have calmly pulled my phone and said that I was going to call the police. He launched two more F-bombs, but my new Converse-covered feet — Thanks, Santa! — shuffled around the explosions.
All I wanted was to look for a vest for the Barnes Foundation’s Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve Bash. This was a very, very quick visit; my head was spinning and wanting to check on my car was needed to soothe my anxiety. A venture to a retail book seller was to calm my mind. I read and debated on Bukowski, but the book was shelved. As I left, I held the door open for a handful of people, for different groups. The last person, an old woman, grabbed my arm and looked at me. “Thank you. But you’re done for now. You could be here all day.”