The SUV blocked our way. Two women, not of the hipster variety, blocked our path. We were turning left, and they were turning left from the opposite flow of traffic. But our paths intersecting. Who was supposed to yield? Who went too far? Who drove without anticipating and arrived there unceremoniously blocked our path? Honk, we yelled through the car’s windshield. It was a clear statement: we can’t move, because you’re in our way. But you can’t move either, because you’re in our way. And we don’t want to get in an accident do we?
Inside, I felt a flow of irritation. Back up!
But this is what I would have done.
Like toddlers in tantrum, we would have stood still, locked in a dead stare. No gas. Just brake. If you want to fight, I’ll fight. We’ll stare each other down, giving the control to the car. I am in no rush. You don’t want to hurt me, and I don’t want to hurt you. I can stand here all day. I would be calm and collected, as you wave your arms in the air. After all, the fact that I did nothing is simply not illegal. We both had the right of way. And it’s more likely that you’re in my path. Traffic obstruction? You’re more likely to have yielded to me, because I have more endurance.
Instead, we reversed and let the SUV go. And the anger flared. The irritation at an inconvenience continued as cyclists barreled through intersections and pedestrians jaywalked on a red light. I grasped my cautious selfâ€”a natural desire to play it safe constantly no matter what I vehicle I used. preservation first, and stand your ground.
“There’s nothing you can do,” I said. “There’s nothing you can do.”