Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Your road rage amuses me (and worried me)

For a minute, I was worried the guy was following me.

(Hmm. Do I want to be all King of Suspense and imply that it turned into Duel? Good film, by the way. TV movie that Steven Spielberg directed even before The Sugarland Express, let alone Jaws, based on a script by Richard Matheson adapting his own story, and Duel was good enough of a film that it got released theatrically in Europe. I could be King of Digression!)

Either he wasn't following me or he was following me and gave up after a few blocks.

What happened was, I was in the left lane of northbound SE 39th (now a.k.a Cesar Chavez Blvd., and one of the big north-south roads in Portland) stopped on the approach to a closed right lane at about SE Clinton. Closed for a festival (bicycle riders crossing en masse) and marked by police cars. To my right was a car followed by a white pickup truck. When the police let 39th's traffic move again, I decided there was room to let the car in ahead of me, then I'd go and the pickup would get behind me.

The pickup driver tried to follow the car around me on the right.

I thought Oh, no, you don't and didn't let the pickup around me. We were stopped at the next light, right lane still closed some yards short of the next intersection, him behind me.

The pickup driver started yelling at me.

I saw him gesturing in my rear-view mirror. I shifted in my seat so I wouldn't have to see him.

He kept yelling. I turned up the radio (jazz, which thinking back on this amuses me). Yeah, I was doing what I could to ignore him. Part of me wanted to roll down the window, look back and yell "You shouldn't have gone," but a) I tend not to confront, you know that and b) I was concerned I'd also say my related thought "It's not my fault you're an aggressive asshole." That...could have been bad.

Because I could, I decided to turn right at my next chance (to SE Division eastbound). I was being non-confrontational, and also I wanted to minimize the chance he'd do a jerk move like accelerate and pass me on the right or something like that, or even just have more of a chance to yell and gesture at me. I pulled past the closed part of 39th's right lane, got into that right lane, then turned right, and I had room to do that in front of a black car on Division that was starting to pull through the intersection but had been slowed down by someone in front of them turning left. So it's me, followed by that black car...

...followed by that pickup.

I got more worried.

Was that another sign he was being aggressive and a jerk? Did he want to follow me and confront me?

Now, were this an action film, the pickup driver then would've rounded the black car and sped up and, um, got up in my grill. (Is that the correct phrasing? Or would it be the other ay around and I'd be up in his grill? Perhaps literally?)

(Now I wish I'd been playing the truck chase music from Terminator 2. But I digress.)

I kept driving, knowing I could turn left on 50th or 60th or sooner than either road if the pickup driver did anything else jerk-y. The pickup never got appreciably closer to me, and around 43rd he turned right and disappeared onto a side street. I breathed a little easier.

Didn't run into him again for the rest of my driving, up to 50th then Hawthorne then the Fred Meyer for groceries. Didn't run into him on my trip home, either.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm not the jerk...but that guy thought I was. I'll deal with the hate somehow. *doesn't cry*

But yeah, he pressed my behind-the-wheel buttons. Tried to force me to do something I shouldn't and got mad at me for not letting him do that. I'm relieved that nothing bad happened beyond some yelling and rudeness. And it's good I didn't encounter the guy last Friday night when I was worried I'd be a jerk even to people I like or love.
Tags: portland
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