Something which makes me mad no matter how hard I try and meditate and be compassionate is people who are willing to run me down so that they can get to a red light a little bit faster than the other guy. It really really hurts my feelings. I'm worth that little to you? Really? I got kids, man. I got a family. I got a job and I'm trying to get home to eat the fabulous dinner my husband is going to make this evening.
And once my feelings are hurt of course I start to get mad. I'M WORTH THAT LITTLE TO YOU? O RLY.
Before you accuse me of showing constant bad behavior I beg you to consider that I ride over a hundred miles every week in all weather and yet I have only yelled "you disgusting worthless cock-sucker I hope you get cancer!" ...once.
Of course arguably, when my behavior gets bad it gets very bad to which I have to say it gets way way way worse in my fantasy life. In my fantasy life I have a sling-shot that fires rocks at cars when they treat me with contempt. In my fantasy life when that jerk runs the red light and the girl walking her bicycle shrinks back I shoot a gun at the offending car that unfurls a giant banner across their windshield that reads "YOU SUCK. WE ALL HATE YOU."
So a few days back I am sitting at a red light. I'm a tiny bit nervous. The light will trigger for me but I know from previous experience that it won't give me quite enough time to actually get across the intersection. The light turns green, it's a green left arrow. I am going left. I start hustling across the wide intersection that is immediately before an overpass spanning the 101. Cars getting off the highway are stopped at their own light which is...red.
The first car sizes me up and takes a right on red. I am now halfway across. The second car considers me and thinks "I'll do it too. She's just a bicyclist, right? I heard the fine for smushing one of those little weasels is a mere $42. I sneeze $42." The light is yellow. I can't stop here in the middle of the wide dangerous intersection. Her car rolls forward, hesitates, and then she steps on the gas and I summon my voice and bellow "STOPPPPPPPPPPPPP IT!" * And she stops.
I am now almost entirely across the intersection. The woman behind the wheel waves her fingertips at me. Drivers do this to say "hey, I almost killed you, I gave you a bad scare, but no hard feelings, right?"
I had hard feelings that day. I'd already been cut off on a few occasions. I did not feel like accepting this weak-fingered wavelet that was not actually an apology. I noted that the moon roof on her car was tilted up. I bellowed once more, "FUCK YOUUUUU" and then fell into the bicycle lane and continued on to work. I saw her at the next light, as an aside. She nearly ran me down for..nothing.
*I've been considering the addition of "it" to my yelling. I realize that what I was yelling at, what was in my heart, was a scream to all cars everywhere. Stop it. Leave me alone. Let me cross the intersection with my green light un-harassed. Just. Stop. It.