In the morning, I get to take a left turn at Albuquerque.
Driving is stressful for me. As a result, I eat poorly on the road, play the music too loud, and get into weird pissing contests with other drivers. I get the crappy food and music, but I don’t know why that last one happens.
Part of it must be a deep-rooted sense of injustice. I think: Aggressive drivers should not be able to push other drivers around! They should be sanctioned or reprimanded, or at the very least be made to understand how their jerky behavior impacts others. Not like I’m some avenging freeway angel or anything–I think I just want to stand up to car bullies. But, that can be dangerous. And when I’m full of soylent green from a truckstop and my synapses feel all bare and ungrounded, I forget. And when I forget, what’s really going on (a road trip, not grade-school recess all over again), I slip into outrage too easily. And then I am on the offensive. What a silly spiral.
When I checked into this fancy pants Motel 6, an AARP member (he asked for the discount when he checked in after me) held the door for me and said, “You kept passing me.” I chuckled, amiably, I hope. He didn’t seem pissed off–but as I walked away, it occurred to me that he might be. Was I an asshole out there to him? I imagined how I’d’ve felt if he were any one of the esteemed septuagenarians who have shared their knowledge (or homes) with me in the last year. How mortified would I have been to have accidentally (or, more honestly: unintentionally) been a road ass to Paul J or John W, for example? Ugh. And then, shouldn’t everyone be worth the same respect until they’ve demonstrated that they don’t deserve it? Double ugh.
Tomorrow, in any case, I will try to channel Bugs, rather than Daffy. I’ll try to have more empathy, if kindness isn’t yet possible.