It should be no secret by now if we're friends on Facebook that I have recently started listening to Taylor Swift on my daily commutes. I'm not sure if she's part mermaid* or what, but something about her voice keeps me from being annoyed by the other drivers on the road. Most of whom drive for shit.
Friday morning was the exception. I have since tested my TSwizzle-Part-Mermaid*-Commute Theory and determined that Friday morning was an anomaly. I'm not sure what happened, to be honest.
Seriously. I don't know what the fuck happened.
I was on my normal commute from Westerville to Hilliard and just about the time we hit the big water tower near Dublin, I found myself behind someone who thought that that 60MPH was the ideal speed (spoiler alert, it wasn't). So I did something I try not to do.
I got in to the left lane to pass them.
I'm sure I've expounded on my theory that almost all traffic jams can ultimately be traced back to unnecessary lane changes, so I'll spare you the dissertation here. I found myself behind a maroon Honda. It was going slightly faster than the car I wanted to pass, so I continued on my course. Then it slowed. As in letting the foot off the gas slowed. I recognized the move. I employ it sometimes.
I looked up and gave the driver an exaggerated "What the Fuck?" motion. I received some unknown gesture in reply. Then I saw the cop parked in his normal spot. I nodded. Cool. Made sense. I gave the driver a "thumbs up" and waited to get in the clear before we could accelerate.
Only he didn't.
We were now below 60MPH in the fast lane. The 8 cars behind me who were up my ass were getting pissed.
I was getting pissed.
I could feel the blood pressure rising. I could feel the adrenaline kick in.
And then the mother fucker brake-checked me.
And time slowed down.
In the span of a millisecond I went through all of the scenarios of what would happen if I, instead of slamming my brakes as well, hit my accelerator. And rammed him.
I would, of course have to clip him on the right rear bumper so it would cause him to spin in to the cement barrier. It would most likely cause me to spin at least partially in to the lane next to me. I saw both cars. His going head first in to the cement wall. Mine spinning around and side swiping the barrier, finally resting facing on-coming traffic.
I saw the people immediately around us, swerving, trying to avoid us. And I saw the dude. Head against the windscreen. Blood everywhere. Did his airbags not deploy?
All of this played out in slow motion. In the blink of an eye.
I hit my brakes and shouted obscenities in what I'm sure was either Orc or Klingon.
I waited until I could pass him and put distance between he and I.
The irony of it all was that "Shake It Off" was the song playing as this all went down.
It wasn't until later and I had found my zen again that I looked back on the whole thing.
It's no secret that I dislike driving. I did it professionally as a medical courier for nearly two years and in that time came to the conclusion that most people give only about 50% of their attention to the fact that they are in a big metal box and at any moment hold their lives and the lives of others in their hands, and oh my god becky, did you see that tweet?? OH shit! Car!!
But this was more than that. This was a buildup of emotions that had no outlet. A general fear and sense of loss for where we, as people, are heading. It was the perfect storm.
I'm thankful that I didn't make the other choice. That self-preservation kicked in. It was the selfish decision. I'm not going to do something stupid that would jeopardize my calling in this current lifetime.
But there's more to it.
I've been that guy. The guy who is just driving minding his own business, listening to Taylor Swift with not a care in the world and all of a sudden some asshole is on your bumper flashing his beams and making all kinds of crazy hand-signals at you. I have literally been that guy.
That, I suppose, is the epiphany. The take away to this all. There comes a time when we must, as a means of surviving as a species recognize the fact that we are all connected. That while we live individual lives, there is a connection between all humans on this planet.
I had that lesson pounded in to my brain bucket at 7:43AM on I-270 by someone in a maroon Honda.
How many times do we get these lessons and ignore them? Too many I'd wager.
I'm not going to lie. I'm not perfect. I'm sure I've still got a few more asshole-driver instances left in me. I have said it before, with no sense of humor or irony, that I will know that I have transcended and advanced to the next level of spiritual awareness when I can successfully maneuver the rush-hour commute without getting annoyed. And I firmly believe that.
I'm not there yet.
But...I'm getting better. I'm cruising. Can't stop-won't stop moving. It's like I got this music in my mind saying 'It's gonna be alright."
Have a wonderful rest of your day my friends.
(not that TS)
*mermaid. I'm picturing Disney mermaids who lure with their siren song, but only want your cutlery for their collection. As opposed to Jason and the Argonauts mermaids who sought to smash your boat to the rockes.
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