Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Brake Down

Today, as I was driving up Oracle in the left lane, the car in front of me braked. So did I. And when I did, I looked into my rearview mirror to make sure I wasn't going to be hit. I could see the woman driving the car behind me cursing me, hands flailing, because I'd had the temerity to slow her down. After a few seconds, she saw me looking at her, our eyes locking through the dirt and glare of glass. She came as close to bumping me as she could to let me know that she really was as pissed off as she had initially seemed. My first thoughts were not thoughts, but the feelings that displace them. But then I took a mental step back and pondered the madness of living in a place where there are drivers so bad that they become unhinged because the cars in front of them are braking. I see it all the time.

I'm inclined to generalize about the decline in American civility over the past few decades. The only problem is that I spent a few harrowing hours on the Autostrada some years back and can attest that there are plenty of Italian drivers who also seem to take any impediment to their desired rate of progress as a personal affront. Even though there were dozens of cars ahead of them in the fast lane, they would swerve to see what the trouble was, honk their horns and tailgate like the regulars at a Nebraska Cornhuskers home game. Maybe it's civilization in general that is losing its pretense of civility. I certainly feel like I'm in danger of doing so. If I could play back my rush of ill will from this afternoon, you would be appalled.
Tags: everyday, rant, tucson
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