Despite being unaffiliated with all religions, I expect to become known as Patron Saint of Inhumanly Patient Vehicle Pilots upon my passing. When someone cuts me off in traffic, I don’t react with a rapid-fire flipping of birds and senseless screaming because they have places to be, too. When someone at the head of a red light doesn’t immediately accelerate on green, I don’t feel it necessary to beat my steering wheel until the air bag deploys. Last week, however, I encountered a driver that caused me to drain most of my car’s horn juice.
On the other side of an intersection where I had stopped, a Starbucks sat to the left bearing a lethargic tail of frivolous spenders that curved from its drive-thru window all the way to a congested side street. To the side of the bucks of stars, a dark blue SUV sat idle beyond the category 5 river of rush-hour traffic, awaiting the wall of vehicles to clear so that it may join the line. This land yacht clogged the lane I would occupy once my light turned green, but at that moment, it was as relevant to me as contracting an unplanned pregnancy.
When the stop-light finally signaled permission for me to cross, the SUV remained static.
‘That’s okay,’ I thought as I drove across. ‘There’s room for me to wait behind it.’
Halfway through the intersection, an anxious traveler to my right unexpectedly swung behind the SUV that still waited for a safe opportunity to enter the parking lot. This left my vehicle’s bumper protruding into the intersection.
With scarce time remaining before the invisible floodgates on either side of me opened again, I tapped the center of my steering wheel, my brief beep conveying, “Hey there, person at the head of the line waiting to get into Starbucks. Sorry to bother you, but I’m back here waiting to get by before my ass is pounded harder by onslaught of traffic harder than last night’s orgy.”
Nothing changed except for the traffic light. From my rear view mirror, I watched cars whiz by, inches away from my rear bumper. I braced for impact with each close call.
‘Maybe the driver of the SUV didn’t hear me,’ I thought to myself before giving the horn a double honk.
This is where the SUV driver made a mistake. From the driver side mirror, she made eye contact with me, but instead of at least mouthing ‘I’m so sorry for the inconvenience,’ she looked away, dismissing my request for her to move forward as if I was one of her annoying children.
Oh, no she dih-unt!
The surface temperature of my face climbed. A pressure built in my head and neck, threatening to pop like a balloon. The favorable patient, understanding, and calm demeanors were violently attacked by frustration, anger, and impatience. The body I wore impulsively reacted to these fugitive emotions, absent of reason and empathy, so I pressed my hand against the car horn and didn’t let up as my mouth spewed profanity like an exploding septic tank.
I may drive an SUV, but unfortunately, its honk is more comparable to Richard Simmons than Vin Diesel. As the pitifully high-pitched cry spread through the air, I am certain it gathered the attention of drivers, store clerks, pedestrians, and panderers in a five-mile radius, but drowning in my outburst, all I saw in my world was the “mothering fucking cunt of a whore bitch” at the head of the line that cared more about grabbing a cup of $15 coffee than my safety.
I eventually won the battle of wills. The “entitled cunt-faced cocksucker” drove away. My tense muscles relaxed. The pressure in my head somehow released itself without causing injury. My vocabulary lost its churlish edge. The world expanded again. As my brain chemicals leveled, I remember thinking, ‘This must be what Bruce Banner feels like when he un-Hulks.’
Journal, even though this was an extremely rare occurrence, I accept it to be the cost of my potential sainthood. It was unbecoming and uncivilized. My restitution was hours considering an alternate approach to the situation; however, I am ashamed to admit that the only acceptable recourse I can imagine is road rage. Of course, maybe this wouldn’t have even happened at all if I had Jesus in my life.