Thursday, May 07, 2009

Got Called an Asshole

When the sardine can 38L Geary bus dumped me off at Powell I decided
to take Cyrill Magnin down to fifth street. That bus is such a crazy
and overcrowded experience that it's an automatic buzz-kill. I walked
down to Ellis where a weird stoplight's left turn arrow goes green
but the walk sign doesn't. I saw green and started crossing with a
couple of other people.

Almost all the way across Ellis, I hear a honk and to my right is a
car with a glowering driver, slowing down close to me.

I have to admit, I sized him up: glasses, pudgy, in late thirties.
Before I could respond, he honked again and advanced a little. It was
either that escalation or his driving a Lexus, which allowed me to
build an instant and unflattering narrative about him as a an arrogant
jerk, that pushed me over the edge into a calmly rational rage. I
also knew he probably wouldn't try to beat me up or shoot me. I
flipped him off.

I have to admit, I enjoy flipping people off when I feel they deserve
it. I relish the curling of my non-middle finger into a deep finger
squat. I really extend my business finger and straighten my wrist.
It's somewhere between an errection and a proclaimation of freedom.

As he passed he yelled "You're walking against the light, asshole!" He
was totally right - I'd been fooled by the green arrows and the other
pedestrians.

I choose to think that I was responding appropriately to his
aggressive approach. Really, I did have the moral high ground.

The rest of the way to work I tried to justify it as his fault, but I
couldn't really. I had acted like an asshole. But that's not me,
really. Really.

I also have this nervous feeling that I've posted something like this
before - me flipping someone off and getting called an asshole. That
kind of worries me.


\t : iPhone->you

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