Rage. Pure unadulterated rage.
And no, I didn’t read one of the president’s tweets. This rage came the old fashioned way. It came from the road.
My parents’ live in Pebble Creek. It’s a subdivision in the northern part of Greenville County. They’ve lived there for almost 30 years. The main thoroughfare for Pebble Creek is Stallings Road. I have driven Stallings Road at least 10,000 times. I know it like the back of my hand. I could drive it with my eyes closed. I know every turn. I know every bump and pot hole. Stallings is a two lane road, with a speed limit of 45 mph. There are no places to pass, which there shouldn’t be. It has hills that limit visibility. Families drive this road. Teenagers drive this road. Golfers cross from one hole to the next. This isn’t the Autobahn. This isn’t the fast lane on I-95.
In my younger days, when I was a moron, I would fly down Stallings. I would hit 55 or 60 in my dad’s green 1978 Volvo. But now that I’m older and realize life is fragile, I’ve slowed down. 45-50 is my maximum Stallings Road speed. I look at it as an outward manifestation of spiritual growth.
This past Monday afternoon I was going to visit for parents. My mom and I had the day off and my little nephew was there hanging out. I turned right onto Stallings Road and once I passed the Ingles I noticed a car following me very closely. I looked at my speedometer. 50 mph. Perfectly acceptable speed. I looked at the person driving and they had a full head of white hair. Having been taught to respect my elders I assumed this rectal exam they were giving my Ford Escape was a mistake.
We went another quarter of a mile, and this old person was even closer. My first instinct was to put on my breaks and slow down. It’s my passive aggressive way of saying I hate you. But again, I was taught to respect my elders.
By this point the rage was starting to build, but I wasn’t giving into it. One of the things cancer has given me is perspective and this old person on my bumper was not going to ruin my day.
That is until he passed me.
It was about a mile from the turn off to my parents neighborhood. This son of a bitch drove into the opposite lane to get ahead of me and then had the nerve, the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to yell and flip me off! Children drive down this road. Teenagers that I teach. My mother. My father. My little baby nephew. Forget perspective. Forget cancer. I’M PISSED!!!!
I lay on my horn. Not like one beep. But like pressing down and never letting up. I blow by the entrance to my parents neighborhood just to honk at him longer. Someone pulled out of a subdivision and got in front of him so he wasn’t able to drive away. He turned left onto Roberts Road, which is the way I was going, so I got to honk at him even longer. I got nervous for a second that he was going to be one of my parents’ neighbors but then I thought, Good! He deserves a good tongue lashing. A good talking to. It had probably been a long time since someone had given him a what for and I was more than happy to do it.
He didn’t turn though. He kept going straight and I gave up my vigilante horn blowing and went to see my parents. It was a good reminder, however, that people out there be crazy! And that old people can be pricks just like the rest of us.