Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
New Year. Leftover pizza breakfast and out the door. Had to go back to work today. Damn. depended on where you are on my route to work, there’s anywhere between 6 and 18 in of snowfall over the last day or so. Highway hasn’t been plowed in a while, but I seem to be making decent time. Unbeknownst to me, there’s a semi a few miles beyond my exit which has turned over and caught fire. Yes you read that correctly, and yes this is a true story. Wait… yep, here we go, traffic’s slowing down. Really slowing down. WTF, this asshole behind me with her brights on (You may detect a pattern in my road rage posts, hi-beams REALLY piss me off). So I’m thinking about the headache I will have by the time I make it to work. Which of course will set the stage for my nemesis alter-ego, Tantrum, to take over and ruin my day.
My day is going to suck. Yeah… here she goes riding my ass, just far enough away to still see her hi-beams. Traffic is moving at a crawl. I roll down my window and make a flashing motion with my fingers and point back to her, tapping my brakes a few times to ensure she’s paying attention. Nope. Oh well, it was worth a shot. Don’t lose focus, Andrew. The driving conditions suck. Hyperfocus. Just do it… as if I could turn that on at a moment’s notice.
So there I was, once again behind the wheel thinking about how pissed I was at the driver behind me, not focusing enough on the traffic around me. Those Brights! How can she not realize? How are there enough idiots in Northern Illinois driving on the same highways as me for this to happen to me so often??? I regain my focus on where I’m driving just in time to look back in my mirror to see her turn her hi-beams off.
Seriously? That just happened?
She waved. I waved back. relief. No headache to look forward to. I didn’t need to stop in traffic and get out and yell at her (not that I’ve ever been “that guy”), I didn’t need to suffer. I spaced out just long enough to not be forced to stare at the bright lights (admit it: someone has their brights on and all you can do it keep looking at them!). No headache, and someone was actually paying enough attention to see my gestures and eventually figure out WTF was going on!
Afterward, I was thinking about it all day. The real world kept in a small corner of my awareness, I was reliving the moment where my hope for drivers in IL has been momentarily restored. The occasional call coming in was just enough to keep me somewhat aware of what was going on around me. I replayed that morning’s drive over and over. By lunch time it felt like I had been here for all of an hour or so. It’s great how a good experience lingers, that reminiscing about it makes the time fly!