Saturday, September 27, 2008

"What we've got here is failure to communicate."

The child's due for some boots. The season has shifted causing a need to shop. It's a nice Saturday with hardly a chill in the air yet the sun is shining like a motherfucker, so this should put people in a good mood, especially those that like the sun. Or so I hoped and thought.

The child and I made our way out of the driveway and down the street made most narrow by all the cars parked along both sides. The first intersection has no stop signs yet I'm a freak and I stop (in fact, I stop everytime, there's just too many large vehicles parked that visibility is an idea more then a reality). We proceed through and make our way down to the end of the next block, which is where there is a stop sign and I plan on turning left.

I'm driving pretty damn slow, which is good because when the lady with the stroller pops out of the last driveway on the right I can make a solid stop. Stroller woman hesitates, squinting at me (I think), squinting as she looks up and across the street. I watch her cross the street and keep an eye on her because I'm just not sure why she's pushing her stroller into the street. I stop at the stop sign and I notice the jogger.

I notice the jogger because she's glaring at me and flipping me off. I roll my window down and say, "Excuse me?" To which the jogger replies, "Look both ways!" over her shoulder.

The jogger went around the back of the car to cross the street even though I hadn't pulled far enough up to the stop sign to block the sidewalk. Stroller woman is now also at the corner, still squinting I might add, and even the angry jogger has to go around her.

For some reason I'm compelled to tell the jogger that I was looking out for the confused woman with the stroller. The jogger replies with yet another finger. Look, I like flipping people off obviously as much as this crazy jogger but at some point you gotta stop. So the jogger jogs on, and I sit at the stop sign waiting for it to be safe and clear so I can pull out and make my left.

We drive by the jogger and I shout out my window, "Have a nice day!" Not surprising, she flips me off again, twice. "Thanks for flipping me and my kid off!" More of the finger. My smile drops, I hit the brakes and flip a bitch in the middle of the road. I pull into the alley entrance that the jogger is approaching and roll my window down again.

I'm not sure why I felt so fucking compelled to plead my case with this woman. As she approaches and removes her earplugs I say, "Look lady, no matter how much you jog you're an ugly person. The stroller lady popped out into the road moments before you crossed, I was concerned. Besides you can't just run across the road, why would you do that?"

"You need to look both ways! Get over yourself!" was the jogger's retort, which she repeated at least three times like a broken toy.

The moment left me and we parted. It wasn't thrilling to swing in on her and make my case, and still as I type this I'm uncertain why I would ever bother.

We finally arrived at Fred Meyer, which is only say 10 blocks away from home, and park. As the child and I stand at the back of our car to remove some resuable grocery bags the silver minivan next to us starts to pull out, much to the dismay of the green minivan already backing out behind it. The driver of the green minivan starts to honk furiously and the silver minivan driver stops and stares at me. I point to the van behind her and she pulls back into the parking space. Once the green minivan is fully backed out of the parking spot the driver starts honking aggressively again while the green minivan's passenger beats on the window and shakes a fist at the old lady driving the silver minivan. The child and I stand there watching it all.

"Hey okay, she gets it! Fuck off!" I shout at the green minivan. To which the green minivan's passenger opens her door and shouts at me to fuck off as well. See now, I've been sick for while and now I've got this horrid cold sore on my lip, plus my mind's tired and perplexed about my life in general so please do not be alarmed to know that this was the last straw.

The child and I got back in the car and I just sat there. I wanted to start bawling, tears did come up and just before they flowed there was a knock on my window. A woman who saw the altercation was there with a smile on her face. I turned on the car and put the window down.

"Good for you! Don't let those people get to you, you did the right thing."

I must've looked a bit shellshocked because she put her hand on my hand, which I hadn't realized I had rested on the window ledge until then. I told her that was the 2nd person to yell at me today. "I'm just gonna go home and try again later." She smiled at that, told me have a better day and, "I'm sorry that happened," before she went on her way.

I remained in the car for another 5, maybe 10 minutes before I got my shit together and went in. I certainly didn't want to come back later and that last lady's supportive, kind words, plus her sincere smile helped a lot. I apologized to the child for witnessing both outbreaks of drama.

The child patted me and said, "It's okay, at least we weren't driving a Subaru, then we'd be the assholes."

1 comment:

Sizzle said...

Sometimes people can be such wankers. And then sometimes, they can surprise you by being really nice. I'm glad that last lady came up to you. All it takes is a kind word and a smile to turn a day around.

I really hope your day improved!