Dig if you will the picture: first in line at a traffic light pointed south, waiting to drive across a major east-west road, and right after the crossroad, the road I'm on narrows from two lanes to one. (I'm talking the intersection of S.E. 12th/Milwaukie Ave. and Powell Blvd. here in Portland, which a local writer recently called "one of Portland's crashiest intersections." Don't worry, no crashing happened. I'm tellin' you this 'cause you looked nervous...) I'm in the middle lane, for straight traffic and for left turns. There's another car a little ahead of me in the right lane. That driver signals to merge left, which I know he needs to do anyway, so I plan for that. We get a green light. I let him start into the intersection. Then I go. Slowly.
He slows down.
I slow down.
He slows down more, almost stops.
I tap my horn. (It's exceedingly rare that I do more than that.) Finally he gets the idea and merges left and keeps going.
My yelling at that moment may have been louder than the horn. "I gave you plenty of room!" I said. Don't worry; he couldn't hear me; I was venting more than anything.
I'm far from the world's greatest driver, but I feel I'm a decent, careful driver. But I've noticed I now get harsher at bad or inattentive drivers. And this was more annoying because I was being accomodating, and he didn't seem to see that. Was he paying enough attention? Should I have given him more room? Was I still partly in his blind spot? In my defense, he was a wobbly, uncertain driver for the few blocks I followed him, almost pulling over then swinging around one parked car and parking south of that. I was glad to be past him then.
Sigh. Eef. Argh.
On the plus side, I'd done good shopping before then: I hit both locations of Cosmic Monkey Comics and found stuff I was looking for at both shops; now I've filled in all of the holes in my Fallen Angel collection, plus I stumbled upon a magazine with a guest column by Caitlin R. Kiernan (greygirlbeast). Then I took care of groceries at Fred Meyer, then I enjoyed the street life on Hawthorne as I headed home. Girl-watching: a good way to relax... (which may not have been enough relaxing, based on what happened next. Oh, well...)