Tuesday

I did not have to drive to work for five years, before Florida. When I lived in DC, I just took the metro to work. The worse I had to worry about was somebody bumping shoulders with me and not saying excuse me. Now that I am driving to work again, and I have to drive into and through downtown, and back out the other side - now that I am forced to make these terrible drives every day - I get to the parking lot at work, and I park my car, and I am shaking. I am upset: angry, a bit scared, adrenaline drunk and bewildered. Today it occured to me that a lot of people just do not value their lives very much. Why risk your life so crazily behind the wheel? I mean - is your life that cheap . . . that you have to come flying up from behind dense traffic a hundred and twenty miles-per-hour and just weave weave weave through traffic, a foot or two away from somebody’s bumper - one hundred and forty in the far right lane so people can’t even get to their off ramp, passing cars within inches sometimes - leaving absolutely no margin for error. Are the lives of these people this worthless to them? I'll tell you what: My life is valuable to me.

Or are these people hopeless thrill junkies who have to be on the red line every time they drive - even through parking lots with moms unloading their kids and maybe a kid gets away from the mom when she’s reaching from the other kid, and the stray kid wanders in front of Mr. Eighty Miles-Per-Hour In The Parking Lot Asshole Barbarian and then BAM! Dead kid. What is the rush? Your job ain’t that important, pal, it’s not like you work in the emergency room. And even if you do work in the emergency room, why create more work for yourself?

I am worried that one day, on my perilous journey to work, somebody is going to ride my bumper on that last street, the last leg of the journey to work - they'll be right there on my ass, and I'll be fuming. They’ll pull into the parking lot right behind me, and I’ll realize that they work for the same company as I do. I get out of my car and charge up to this person and get right in their face and tell them that they drive like an asshole, and they’ll be stunned, “What? What?” And I’ll be right there in their face yelling at them about how badly they drive and how much of an asshole they are even though they are the chief officer of . . . whatever, and they’ll think that I am the out of control asshole . . . because they are so used to driving like a maniac, it’s normal behavior for them . . . I mean: I am not being a chicken here, I am pondering this equation that people impose on their lives and the lives of others: the arrival at work a few minutes earlier is more important than your life, the thrills that somebody gets from driving fast is more important than your life.

7 comments:

Bruce Hodder said...

Personally I go as slowly as possible on my way to work because I don't want to be there.

R's Musings said...

Hey, Bobby,
I can certainly relate. When I first moved to Detroit from WV, I was paranoid driving through the city, my stomach in knots every time. Road rage is a problem, too. Take a few minutes after you shut off the car, before you get out, to do some deep breathing. It helped me to let it all go before I walked into work.

jeannie said...

There's one thing in common with all the accidents I've worked - speed. Alcohol a lot of the time too, but always, always speed. And the faster they go the harder it is to scrape the body out of the vehicle. I wish they would make speeders spend a weekend on an ambulance just so they could see what's left of vehicles & bodies when they wreck. I saw a thing on TV from somewhere that took kids in drivers ed to the morgue. I want them to see the entire scenaro.
I think people that drive like that tend to blame other people for everything - it wasn't MY fault you got in MY way...it wasn't MY fault your kid ran out into the street.... assholes.

Notorious Monster said...

what really gets me is HUMAN TAILGATING....everyday, some person is up my ass, shoes clicking fastly behind me, walking like a robot, trying to get to work 30 seconds earlier than the day before....because they are so important because their blackberry makes them feel important....I just stop and let them bump into the back of me, and then they get mad at me like im crazy, and I laugh at them......this has become a daily thing now, and the laughter is always better than the day before.

Notorious Monster said...
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Billy said...

real freedom gotta be considering the other person. not infringing on their freedom. lots of people don't see it that way. they swallow every available space without an afterthought.

potentially lethal said...

Someone gave me the finger the other day as he made a left turn in front of my car.

I was just listening to some soothing music. I wasn't speeding up or anything. And, BAM! There was the phallic salute.

I was so bothered by it, though. All the way home.

It was totally not called for - and I took it personally....

I must be the jerk.