Perishable Skills

I’ve been mentally beating myself up over a confrontation yesterday, after being honked at and screamed at by a speeding motorist to “Stay in the bike lane” while going around another parked car in it.

Of course: the motorist thought he’d left me in his wake, but of course I caught up to him at the next red. I tried to convince myself just to “let it go,” but as I drew closer and the gasshat either needed gas or figured out he wasn’t going to get away with the harassment scot-free, he ironically drove in the bike lane about a block to bypass the traffic stacked up in the No. 2 lan and to dive into a gas station. Empty gas tank, empty head or both? Who knows.

When I arrived I ignored my better self and circled around his car to get a better look at the driver. He got out not liking that at all, and like a fear-aggressive dog feigned a charge, barking at me to “get the eff away from his car,” which I did while remaining on the bike, which put me at a disadvantage, but I didn’t want him to see it as a cue to escalate. Just because a dog is frightened doesn’t mean it won’t bite.

GIF: Unrepentant. Entitled.

Anyway we fuck-you’d at each other for a few moments. He strangely made it a race thing but it all ended without anyone going to jail and me riding away upset for two reasons.

The first and least important is that I reaffirmed for the 1929467567888th time that I share the road with motherfuckers. Proud ones. Unrepentant ones. Who’ll harass and terrorize others with a total disregard and then make it your fault when you call bullshit. These people just suck on a molecular level as if it’s in their DNA.

The second and most important reason I was upset is that I so readily violated my golden road rule: THOUGH SHALL NOT ENGAGE.

I was most dramatically taught that back in 2009 with a similar incident. But no matter how much I make it my mantra it’s clearly a perishable skill, perhaps one that needed this egregious incident — the worst since I started riding again — to reboot/remind/reinforce. It shouldn’t have.

The rest of my ride home I was like Eeyore on a bike, slowly and ultra-glumly pedaling, terrifically bummed out at such a lapse.

And when I got there, I told Susan I could use a hug, which she lovingly provided and when she asked why, I said “Some days you slay the dragon, some days the dragon slays you and some days you slay yourself.”

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."