I did something very reckless today. File it under the road-rage category.
This afternoon I saw a large pickup truck approaching a yield sign at the bottom of a cloverleaf exit where the interstate highway intersects the rural highway I travel home. I say to myself, it doesn't look like they plan to yield, so I move from the right lane to the left lane. Good thing. They did pull right on out into the right lane...and then continued over into the left lane. I jumped on the horn, and steered my car over a curb and into the median, narrowly missing a reflector post and the concrete underpilings of the interstate overpass. I'm still honking, and slowing my car.
I think the other driver was afraid I might be armed, as she slowed down even more than I did.
I was LIVID! I put on my right blinker and pulled to the side of the roadway. The other driver pulled up behind me, but at a distance. I got out of my car and turned to face the other driver. She exited her truck apologizing. Okay. All I wanted was an apology, I say, shaking.
Then she started making excuses. Her truck has poor visibility, she says, a large blind spot. She didn't see me.
I'd heard enough. Then you need to take EXTRA care, I tell her.
I get back in my car and drive away.
I didn't swear (then). I didn't scream (then). But I was PISSED.
As I drove away, and watched her in my rearview mirror, I thought of all the things I wished I had said to her.
...How going over that curb felt just like going off the shoulder of the road two years ago in the split second before my car began tumbling side over side.
...How the fear I felt today went so deep that it found the secret place that my two-year-old fear has been hiding, and it was fueled and consumed all reason.
...That if she couldn't see to drive her vehicle safely, then she should damn well be driving a different vehicle.
...How one of the first lessons in Drivers' Ed 101 is, whether there are other cars on the road or not, you turn into the lane nearest you, not cross over the entire roadway without looking and without signaling.
...How having lived through a near-fatal accident...trapped in a burning vehicle...saved only by the grace of God and the bravery of strangers...I have not one ounce of patience for people's stupidity and carelessness in a hurtling piece of heavy machinery.
So there is my confession for today. I exhibited extremely poor judgment in confronting a stranger in anger.
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