being honked at when outside the car is different than being honked at when within your car

being honked at when outside of the car is different than being honked at when within your car

the other day as I rolled the final blocks towards a dental appointment the car behind me honked
there was no where to go
I was in the right hand lane
cars were stacked up in front of me
the light was red no more than 4 car lengths ahead
four Lincoln navigators long not cooper mini or smart car lengths

the car honked then honked again
then the car did the rational thing
they moved to the vacant space in the left hand lane
and tried to make a pass
then they nearly rear ended a car in the line of stopped cars
the light just ahead was red

this driver was so focused on getting past the bicycle that he did not see the red light or the line of cars
the light ahead was red and cars were slowing to a stop
he had to get in front of me
as if I was obstructing him

then we had the exchange
I had already heard the sick goose noise that came from his aging diesel car horn
I listened to some of his
he got to hear some of mine

my words were not kind
it is hard to respond soft and slow after being honked at
the honking of the horn tends to say one simple thing... GET OUT OF MY WAY!

sure enough
that is what he was saying
yes... it is true.... I was taking the whole lane
but it is a two lane road
actually it is a six lane road
three lanes on each side with one lane occupied by parked cars on each side

each way it is a two lane road that moves fast with a line of parked cars to the right
parked cars with parking lots and alley ways in between each city block
traffic turning right or traffic coming from the right at every other block
cars entering the roadway ignoring the no turn on red never seeing the stop sign

there are double parked cars
buses picking up and dropping off fares

if I ride too far to the right I risk getting "doored"
if I am aware enough to see the car door open and then move abruptly to the center of the right hand lane... well... if a fast passing car does not anticipate this... I get crushed by the car that thought it could pass fast and close

so there are times where I ride toward the center of the right hand lane
it is the place where I am supposed to be and it is the place which is most safe

I also dip into the lane with parked cars but then dip back in after a few cars pass
need to get back out before I get pinned in
there are also times where I go into the left hand lane
as well as the times where I cross the double yellow line
again... putting myself where I am most safe

I put myself where I am most safe
no one is concerned with my well being but me

so to be honked at and then told not to take the full lane
I approached this stranger in his old Mercedes station wagon a little irked
the humor that this old gentleman almost rear ended stopped traffic lightened things for me a bit

my heart rate was going
my heart rate was already pumping from a cross town sprint from dupont circle to friendship heights
my heart rate was going because I felt that this man did not respect that I had a right to be where I was

the words achieved nothing except to push us further apart
the conversation was started by honking
which is pretty close to starting the coversation by saying F_ck You!
hard to have a civil conversation when it starts with that tone

gotta roll
no time to proof this
gotta roll