Next Time

Dear bespectacled, angry woman who tried to zoom past me only to discover more outrageous idiots between you and your important business,

Next time you’re driving through the Lowry Hill Tunnel area and some idiot in front of you is only going 60 miles per hour, use your imagination before you start laying on the horn, waving both your arms and hollering.

Imagine the person in front of you has an elderly passenger with severe mental illness. Imagine that passenger has only a couple of teeth and near limitless capacity to speak with encyclopedic knowledge about events current and historical. Imagine he’s about 30 minutes from his last cigarette and another 30 minutes away from his next one.

Imagine the idiot driver has a general driving principle of keeping at least three car lengths between herself and the car in front of her under the best freeway circumstances. Imagine she’s trying to listen to instructions about which lane she should get into on the other side of that tunnel while trying to be respectful of the elderly man and his narrative.

Then glance down at your speedometer and remind yourself that 60 is pretty fast in a tunnel and around a curve.

Remind yourself that taking both hands off the wheel is pretty dangerous and that screaming might feel good, but that it actually ramps your anxiety level up rather than providing a release valve. Remember that when you honk, wave your arms and open your mouth to scream at the idiot in front of you, no one can hear you scream.

When you’ve come back to your right mind, try to imagine a situation where you have had to drive slower than the person behind you wanted you to go. Do a little math, and pay attention to the fact that the group of vehicles ahead of you and that idiot are only going 60 miles per hour, so even if you pass the idiot, you might not pass all the idiots in front of her, and you will likely both arrive at the next set of brake lights at the exact same time.

Remember that when you are traveling as part of a caravan of meat-stuffed metal projectiles, you are farther away from being the center of the universe than you have ever been in your life. Chill the fuck out.  We’ve all got places to be.