Here in Portland, we have almost as many bicyclists as drivers. They even have special streets with little metal bicycles on top of the street signs. On days when I don’t have deadlines, I admire their spunk and cheer them on as they do more than their fair share to reduce our dependence on oil. On days that I have, say, a job interview that I really need to be on time for and they’re riding three abreast all gangsta style on a narrow two-way street to protest my disgusting gas-guzzling, well, I just want them dead.
I picture myself just plowing into them, all arms and legs akimbo as they plummet from their bicycles onto the pavement, where they’re struck repeatedly by oncoming traffic unable to stop in time. Thump, thump. Thump thump. Some good Samaritan passerby calls the police and an ambulance. From my vantage point in the back of the police car, I can see one of them being lifted onto a gurney, and after the medic checks his vitals, a white sheet pulled gently over his face before the ambulance doors close.
My reward for writing his family unceasing letters of apology from my jail cell is that they respond by talking the warden into letting me attend the funeral. The funeral is well-attended, and I watch a short video of the young man’s accomplishments, hopes and dreams, as his pregnant wife occasionally bursts into sobs. When the video is over, his white-haired grandmother comes over to me and puts her hand, so delicate that it might be made of papier mache, on my shoulder, looks at me with tear-filled eyes and says “I forgive you”. This is what I thought I wanted to hear, but I realize that it’s meaningless, because I’ll never be able to forgive myself. That’s when I wake up.
See? Road rage all gone.