A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, February 17, 2021
After four days of being a hermit, it was time to go hunting down some grub. If not for the news alerting me to all the noise in the world of shootings and attacks, I knew nothing living in the peaceful woods of my uneventful town. No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for excitement in my hood. I’m just telling it like it is. If I didn’t watch the news, I would be oblivious and think I live in Pleasantville.
No sooner did those words come out of my mouth did I stand corrected. I snailed behind the big pickup, listening to my playlist and not minding that we were going 15 in a 25-mph zone. In my little Veloster, I couldn’t see beyond the protruding truck ahead of me. I assumed he was following cars ahead of him, preventing him from going faster. As soon as we made it to the block where the right-hand turn lane started, I swerved into it. Just as my view cleared, my mouth fell open when I saw nothing in front of that truck but space. Why was he turtling? Before I could think further, he made me jump when he decided he wanted what I had—the right-hand turn lane and forced me into evasive action and honked! I spooked him long enough to dash ahead, and he followed behind me like an injured little puppy. One down.
Something about being out on this day didn’t feel right. It felt like when I was back in driver’s training when I felt unsure of where everything was in the car. It felt disconcerting. It was adding to my paranoia. You see, days ago, friends alerted me of the new crimester who expanded to my little town and was still on the loose. Some black Infinity was shadowing solo female drivers waiting to pounce and rob them. Before leaving the house, I told myself to be on my best vigilant behavior and be crystal of my surroundings: meaning, no listening to music on my errand run.
What I needed to add to my checklist was no deep thinking while driving. Why? Because my thoughts were distracting me from the onsetting claustrophobia. I could barely make out what my car, VPea, was trying to say through her shrieking, “Can’t breathe!” My lane tightened. I glanced over to the service truck in the right lane next to me, and he got way too fresh and squeezed into my personal space. I slowed down to move away from him. Hey, if he wanted my lane, he can have it, just not with me in it, that is. No sooner than after I fell behind him, he retreated, favoring his right side. What just happened? Was it me?
By now, I was feeling pretty insecure, but I kept going. The fun kept coming. Not too much later, I was in a double left-hand turn lane with another big GMC-type truck to the right of me—each of us minding our own business. At this point, I forgot about the earlier incidents. That’s the magic of music for you. We both accelerated on the green. Before I landed in my lane across the intersection, I pressed down on my brake when I felt claustrophobic again. I tightened my grip on the steering wheel, eyeing the older man in that truck, and he was straddling the line. We had three lanes to choose from. Where I was, I was committed to the fast lane. Whereas he had the middle and right lanes yet he was greedy. He had to make sure I didn’t get my one lane. What’s up with that? In a bit, he eased into the right lane heading onto the freeway. What that means, my friend, is that he never wanted my lane. He was just a lousy driver. That’s what that means. That man seemed utterly calm and oblivious to what he had done. Scary. Good thing I was paying attention for both of us.
By this time, I couldn’t wait to get back to Pleasantville. The fun wasn’t over yet. I guess I didn’t get the complete lesson that the world is a crazy place. Before I got to Westborough and El Camino, I encountered another older man out for his Sunday drive and couldn’t decide which lane he wanted. The only thing clear to him was he wanted to keep me out of my lane. Really? Again, another line straddler! What’s up with that? Listen, people, this isn’t helping my confidence once bit.
That’s it. I had it. I’m going home. Home, sweet home. Almost there. Wait. There’s a Toyota Yaris parked on the street blocking my driveway. I was sure the driver who was scrolling his cell would move once he heard my garage door open. Hilarious. He didn’t budge! I pulled up next to him and waited, and he was oblivious. There’s that word again. Is everybody oblivious today? Now, there was an SUV patiently waiting on my tail. I got ready to honk the Yaris driver, but he got un-oblivious and slowly scooted forward. And I mean, slowly. Hey, don’t mind me and the SUV. We’ll just block the street while you take your time moving up and blocking my neighbor’s driveway. I was sure he’d scoot back after I pulled into my garage. He didn’t right away. A while later, I looked out my window when Ring.com alerted me to movement outside. It was that Yaris. He backed up, blocking my driveway again when my neighbor backed his pickup onto his driveway. The Yaris sat in front of my driveway for ten more minutes before taking off. During that time, my neighbor loaded up his bikes on his pickup bike rack, but it didn’t spook the idling driver. I tell you that Yaris driver had the nerves of steel.
Lunatics. Lunatics, all of us, out on a full moon. Wait. It’s only a quarter moon. I don’t know then. The way I felt, which was not like myself, I thought I was a lunatic out there feeling my way along the road. Maybe these other drivers, except for the Yaris idler, were feeling the same vibe as me and struggling to feel the road, too. Nah, they were just bad drivers. They were greedy, line straddling bad drivers. I wanted to blame it on the full moon. Luna means moon. I wanted to believe that the moon was causing drivers to do crazy things, acting like lunatics, but I’m afraid that the moon had nothing to do with it. For me, I need to keep my driving practice so as not to lose my ability. I don’t know what those bad drivers’ stories were, but I hope they stop being road lunatics that might get them into an accident. Tomorrow is a new day. Next time I’m out errand running, I look forward to a dull, uneventful experience. I seriously don’t care to run into more luna-tics.