Dude, Take a Breath

I was running errands recently, and one of the things on the to-do list was a stop at the post office. I had pulled into the suicide lane (aka the middle lane) of a busy 4 lane highway, because I had to make a left turn to get into the parking lot. I had plenty of time to assess the situation, because there was a lot of oncoming traffic to wait for.

As I sat there, I saw a man walking up the sidewalk. When there was a gap in the traffic, I noted that he was at least 20 feet from the driveway, and moving slowly, so I decided it was safe to make my move. And then he sped up.

But by that time, I was already committed. I was crossing the oncoming lanes, and cars were coming. When I passed in front of him, he was still a good 10 feet from the driveway, so I thought nothing of it.

I parked. It took a moment to gather my belongings. That turned out to be very, very fortunate, because the next thing I knew, the guy was pounding on my window and screaming at me.

“You b**ch! You almost killed me! You didn’t even see me.”

I tried to remain calm. I said, “Of course I saw you. That’s why I didn’t kill you.”

The whole time, he’s beating on my window, and I’m praying that the glass will hold, and feeling grateful that I had remained in my car long enough to have this conversation with a bit of a barrier between us. Because the man was unhinged. His eyes were bulging out of his head from pure rage. He proceeded to shout at everyone in the parking lot, telling them what a b**ch I was, and how I’d attempted to kill him.

Because, yeah, that’s my goal in life.

Needless to say, I didn’t get out of my car. Eventually he stormed off down the street. To say I was a bit shaken by this incident is putting it mildly. I decided not to pick up the mail after all.

To this day, that parking lot gives me a frisson. I make a point of looking all around me before I step out of the car. This guy will forever haunt the post office for me.

I really don’t understand people who go from zero to outraged in 2 seconds. Especially when the situation does not merit that level of aggression. I did not harm a hair on his chinny chin chin. Why did he attempt to harm me?

If Homie hadn’t gone completely crackers on me, we could have had a reasonable discourse. I would have apologized for startling him. That certainly wasn’t my intent. I must have triggered something in him. We all come with baggage. Sometimes our reactions have more to do with the past than the present.

But one wonders what a guy like that would do in private if he’s so willing to attack a woman in public. I wouldn’t want his life, where the tiniest of things brings him to the rage place. Along with being profoundly dysfunctional, it must be exhausting and isolating.

I suspect he will be dining alone come Thanksgiving.

Rage

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4 thoughts on “Dude, Take a Breath

  1. Roger LeCompte

    Sorry you had to experience that. I’m sure most of us (if not all) have been on both sides of that type situation which helps us be more understanding when in his role. Perhaps he’d never been In your position but that doesn’t excuse his behavior.

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver

    Yes, some of us are mature enough to avoid getting violent. But if, all powers forbid, that ever happens again, whip out your phone, take a picture, step on the gas, and in a few blocks call the cops. If you are real handy with that phone, I mean.

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