Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Get Back In The Car

Last Friday I had a "situation" while driving through the unplowed and crowded streets of Washington, DC. First, let me say if this happened before cancer, I would be writing this from a jail cell. (Actually, moron, if you were in a cell you wouldn't have Internet access. Excuse me, but this is where I'm talking to myself, not you the reader).

I was inching along one of our streets around 6:30-6:45 pm. Traffic was a bitch-and-a-half. I knew I was in for a long drive home––longer than the 26 miles I usually drive home from work, which takes me 35-45 minutes on a clear traffic day. (Like that ever happens). The driver behind me decides that he wants to drive my car, too, so he's honking his horn for me to move up. Now let me give you a visual here. I'm in the middle lane, with snow potholes, 6-inch ice spikes and water running down the 10-15% incline we're all trying to get away from. I have a manual transmission car in front of me––I know this because every time we inch up, he slide back a little––so I'm giving him a foot or so to get in gear. Literally.

This dude behind me decides he's going to honk his horn at me. Not once. Not twice. But three times. After the 3rd blowing, I throw my hands up in the air to tell him "I hear you, stop it." No, I didn't flip him the bird. Or any other hand gesture that would suggest a profanity. Just a "back off" gesture. As I grab my water bottle to generate some saliva for me constant dry mouth––thanks, cancer!––I hear a tap on my window. It was the dude in the car behind me––he got out of his car. Where I come from––Northeast LA and parts nearby––this is a signal that you're either gonna try to kick my ass or get yours kicked. Dude tells me, "we are both gentlemen here. Why do you raise your hand to me?" I tell him, "don't honk your horn at me, please. There is nowhere to go." He says, "I've been trying to get somewhere for over 2 hours and I'm almost out of gas." I said, "Don't honk your horn at me and get back in your car." He says, "don't raise your hand to me." I open my car door, get out and he has this "oh shit, this guy is so much bigger than me" look on his face. I tell him, "get back in your car. Don't honk your horn again at me." I hear from the street, "hey man, you better get back in the car like he says."

Now, before cancer, I would have tried to knock that dude on his ass. But I didn't. One of the positive side effects from cancer has been an increase in my tolerance level. I don't get so angry so quick anymore. I see the funny side of things. I understand that there are people more messed up than me :) I know that an altercation––I haven't had a fight since I took martial arts 30 years ago––doesn't really solve anything. Most of the time. Gotta go now.

I have to get back in my car.

No comments: