In general, I’m not quick to anger. Sure, like most people, I’ve got my triggers, but I’m much more likely to laugh, shrug, or shake my head and wonder aloud at the mysteries of humans.
So this morning, riding serenely down Putnam Street in Cambridge (j/k – Putnam, with its constellation of potholes = far from serene), a woman in a large white SUV swerved around me, yelling out her open window, “Move over!”
Putnam Street is, I don’t know, twelve feet wide. It’s a narrow street. The Big Dipper potholes and road patches usually result in my taking the lane (for non-commuters this means = riding in the middle of a travel lane.) I just don’t feel safe otherwise.
Enter the hollering driver in her SUV that barely fit in the lane. Enter 9:30 AM on a Wednesday. Enter fury.
I fantasized about chasing her car down and through her open passenger’s side window (that she rolled down to shout at me?), giving that woman a piece of my mind. In a big way.
But you see, I’ve already done this. Multiple times, in multiple situations. It’s not satisfying. It’s never satisfying. Not even perhaps raising a choice finger. Not even mumbling savagely to myself. What happens is I get upset, I look out-of-control, I get exhausted by my own anger-adrenaline. And it’s just not worth my energy to take these situations personally, because they’re not personal.
Still when these situations occur, which is fairly often, a large (loud, panting, spitting) part of me is so ready to bring it; so unwilling to back down.