>Double Yellow, Double Entendre, Double Standard

>I shall now describe to you my most recent encounter with road rage.

Just for the record, because of a ((recent)) turn of events, I have discovered that I am caused great joy by driving the speed limit. What I previously considered a mere inconvenience has transformed into a supreme source of pleasure on multiple levels.

1. In a society as fast-paced as ours, rush has become an intricate part of our vocabulary. I work at a restaurant, and what we call the busiest part of our night is the dinner rush. We rush to get places, when we're asked how we are we respond with "in a rush." Frenzy is no longer just a term we use for sharks when it's feeding time. It has become a way of life. So with all of these rushed people scrambling past me at speeds previously unreached, I remain in my calm world inside of my honda fit, comforted by the sounds of the musical selection of the day.

2. On less of a contentment level, my obeying the speed limit becomes one more factor that angers the already acrimonious passersby. I want to put a video camera in my back seat so that it peers out the back window at the caustic faces of the people my apparent ineptitude at driving has enraged. These faces will get me through the day.

This second point is where my road rage story begins. I got off of I-24 at Belvoir avenue, turning left at the light to pass over the interstate and continue on towards home. At this moment, I see a blur of lights behind me as they almost skid to a halt behind my stopped vehicle. I turn left, continue down the road, obeying the speed limit less for the sake of being obedient, and more for the sake of not being in a hurry, I suppose my way of backhanding society and its way of doing things. Homeboy behind me doesn't take the same pleausure out of smelling the roses as I do, though. Riding less than three feet behind me, he has sucessfully done one of the few things on the road that I will not tolerate and turned on his brights. He's tailgaiting me, blinding me in my mirrors, and all I can do is imagine the animosity that is flashing across his face.

So what do I do?

My foot releases from the gas and I coast to around 27 miles an hour in this 30 mph zone. He still doesn't get the hint, and presses on, relentless in his little game of power struggle against my strong will to remain relaxed.

So I tap the brakes.

Everybody has brake-checked someone. Well turns out that this man does not like my little warning very much at all, and reveals to me his true identity. A glint of blue and white bursts into my retinas, and immediately my heart responds by thudding. I am not so much scared that this police officer is angry at me, I'm more enraged. I WANT him to pull me over, I WANT him to give me a ticket for him following too closely and driving recklessly (with his brights in my eyes). I'd LOVE to explain that one to the judge, thank you very much. I want so bad to call him out on his double standard and his violation of his duty to "protect and serve" that I can feel it, palpitable on my tongue.

I pull off to the side of the road, readying myself for confrontation with this man. But he'll have no say in it. He accelerates, turns off his flashing lights, and disappears behind the next corner.

I have been seriously upset about this for a few days now. I don't know if it's betrayal that I feel, or a desire for vengeance, or even just an affront to my usual stint of apathy that has worked its way under my skin.

Anyway. I will get over it. Until then, take my advice and, just for one day, take your time where you're going. If you feel like pissing off society, I can think of no easier way. 55 mph in the right lane, that's all you need to do. What can they get mad about? Slowing them down less than one minute from their clearly pressing appointment? What ever happened to traveling for the sake of the journey, rather than the destination...?

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.