7.24.2006

monday morning

who is the asshole?

am I the asshole?

a car runs the red light
comes speeding around the blind curve
I stand in the middle of the street in their path with my dog close to myside
unable to walk forward not feeling safe to walk back
cars coming up hill pass
I finish crossing the street
the car which has just run the red light rolls a few feet forward and makes a comment

not knowing what he said I respond
the light was red
the speed limit is twenty-five miles an hour
to which he should be humble and keep his metrosexual kissing stick covered lips to himself
yet he continues...
again...
I can not hear him
so I repeat my point
there there is something about having a nice day....
sarcasm
a language I understand
what he does not understand... I would have a nice day if I did not need to encounter him or others like him
my day gets ruined by aggressive drivers threatening my life and the lives of those that I love
who is the asshole?
the guy in the car
or me
the guy giving the car driver lip

action versus reaction
without their first action
I would not have the need for my often over reaction

who is the asshole?
I am rolling down the road to the right side of the lane
a car passes fast and close
just ahead is a red light
after they make the pass they pull all the way over
blocking my path on the right hand side of the lane
I move to the double yellow line passing the car that just passed me and a few other cars that had passed me moments earlier
the light turns green I roll forward
I take the whole lane
with traffic in the oncoming lane there is no room for the cars to pass
share the road does not mean share the lane

rather than have these cars try and squeeze in the lane with me I make the decision for them
I take the center of the lane so that they are forced to move at my pace behind me
by the time that there are no cars in the oncoming lane I am taking a left
no reason for me to move to the right for them to pass

who is the asshole?
the person in the car that does not care about my lack of airbags or my lack of crumple resistent side panels
or me... the guy on the bicycle who knows that it is unsafe for the bike and the car to reside in the same lane at the same time

who is the asshole?

I head down the bike path...
ahead three women are running
three abreast.... I am approaching from behind
but it looks like three abreast
as I approach fast I give an audible
a loud and polite... rider up... on your left
there is no movement
I make the pass just the same

who is the asshole?
the three women running at a walking pace taking up the whole trail
or me
the guy trying to get to work
forced to buzz past them with the little space on the path that remains


just a mile or two ahead
some women with strollers
I love kids
I love my kids

the strollers and the nannies block the path
I give an audible
they look up
I give another audible
the women step to the side
there is plenty of space between the strollers for me to split through

who is the asshole?
the woman stopping in the center of the trail to chat about American Idol
or me
the cyclist on the bike path trying to get to work

the question?
who is the asshole?
well, there are some of these people on the other end who would answer that it is me on the bike who is the asshole
while... I would answer differently

it is their action that causes my reaction
it is their behavior that causes the level of our interaction

these are everyday encounters
these same exchanges occurred several times again this morning on the road and on the bike path
these are the interactions of everyday
I am confident that some of these people on the other end of the encounter went on with their day and thought to themselves... that guy on the bike... that guy was an asshole
when me....
I see them
and I think
man.... those people are such assholes

we all pause on the path
we all stop, double park, and pick up a friend
we all drive past cyclists, runners, and pedestrians
but
we do not have to be assholes when we do these things

we can pause on the path over to the side, not blocking the movement of traffice
we can double park if and only if there are no spaces available and our actions will be swift
we can go around cyclist on the road in our cars without buzzing them and then cutting off their path
we can interact with each other without being selfish assholes
we do not need to smile and wave and each encounter
but
we can guide these encounters in such a way that one one leaves feeling as if they should give the other the finger

I dream of having a ray gun
not set to kill
not set to stun
set to disappear
if I had this gun I would make people disappear

in a weeks time I could put a major dent in the asshole population of washington dc

7 comments:

Frank Brigandi said...

Reaction...my obvious weak spot. I am a reactor, I never instigate, only fun instigations from me. Admittedly I instigate the drug dealling shithead teenagers, who naver back up their bark with any bite whatsoever, which fortifies my instigating.
I hear you Joel, completely. People think I'm a total asshole because I have no tollerance for their stupidity. Am I the asshole? yes I am, but not by my own volition, I'm a reactor, push my buttons and I will detonate.

Steeker said...

that was well put nice read , am I an ashole ? hmmmmm well if you don't move when I am polite and ring my bell and you still don't move when I voice out passing on your left! yuppers I say your a stupid f*ck get off the bike path,roller bladers that wear Ipods and take up the entire path and won't move when you yell well I really try not to hit them but if I do f*ckum thier own fault, uhmmm when you push your baby stroller(with baby) ahead of you out from between two parked cars without looking right in front of me I brake and ask them are they f*ck*ng insane HOW could you do that with a baby, are you sick in the head does your husband know how f*ck*ng stupid you are! , if you hit me in stop and go traffic and leave IF I catch up to you i'll smash your f*ck*ng windows .. hmm I am not an asshole I am a bike rider whom is sick of all the asshole's in cars. all the cellphone drivers and the suicide mothers with strollers that don't care about thier kids and I am sick of all the Courts that let drivers get away with murder and I hate roller bladders that use bike paths at night with no blinkie's.. I can be a major asshole :-D but I really am a sweet bear

Bryn said...

similar to your raygun - I wish I could simply disable a car's electronics by pointing my finger at it. If a car makes a left turn in front of me, cuts me off, forces me off the road, so much as honks at me when I've got the right-of-way, "ZAP!" The car stalls out in the middle of the road and I roll away, calm and satisfied.

Frank Brigandi said...

I have been the driver in more than a few cycling road rage instances. I rode by a group of cyclists one of them wearing a jersey that said "share the road" cool right? does sharing the road mean I have to drive into on coming traffic to go around you?.. NO, sorry it does not, sharing the road means literally that, plenty of room for everyone. When I drive by a group of cyclists and one of them yells "ASSHOLE!" at me, I stop, get out of my car and explain how I didn;t hear what they said..they usually understand their poor judgment then apologize.....road rage, whether it is auto, bicycle, moped, skateboard, unicycle, roller blade, is just that road rage it sucks all around..

Anonymous said...

gwadz damn you're such an asshole

megA said...

your writing is beautiful, lyrical, thoughtful

thanks. . .

Squirrel said...

that was awesome!

Peace