One week ago, my annual road trip came to an end. I was grateful to be home, and even more grateful to be relieved from driving amongst all the other vacationing Canadians. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing…
Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)
Chapter 29—The Best of Intentions…
My new leaf lasted only long enough for to retrieve my car from the shop and drive half way home. I must live in the stupid capital of the world—seriously. People tail-gated, and cut me off at every turn. The random acts of dumbness would have sent Ghandi into a rage. While I was no Ghandi, I can boast that at the very least, I was not frothing at the mouth. I may have been close, but Sane Elsa drew her line in the sand.
I did adopt a new driving philosophy which was a powerful cross between the “when in Rome…” adage, and the “Whatever happens in Vegas…” While I was no where near either of these noteworthy places, I honoured Darwin’s theory best I could and I adapted. If out driving, people were tail-gating, I too tail-gated; if people went out of their way to refuse entry into the lane, I too drove offensively enough to prohibit easy lane change. Soon, using the naked eye to distinguish me from the other assholes was near impossible. I had, at least while on the road, had joined the mindless, bleating herd.
This new mindset had its perks: especially “Whatever happens in Vegas…” part. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I was one hundred percent Sane Elsa. I was my sweet, calm, and sensible self. So, just as long as I didn’t have to drive my mom, or anyone else, anywhere, my new driving mindset would not inspire any kind of concern or anxiety. Adopting this mindset really seemed like a stroke of brilliance on my part.
Of course, it has been said that the line between brilliance and insanity was a very fuzzy and slippery line to tread. In retrospect, I don’t recall ever noticing where that particular line was in the first place. I always figured that I was far too busy, or preoccupied, with other things to notice any kind of rhetorical “line”. The larger part of my preoccupation was with all the new conversations I was having with the fellow drivers of the herd. I was meeting all kinds of men. Many of them seemed hell bent on referring to me as a “stupid bitch”, or even “you crazy bitch”. Also, many seemed rather concerned as to where my head was—the prevailing theory was that it was lodged somewhere along the lower part of my gastro-intestinal tract. I remained mostly undaunted, because I knew that I while I drove among the herd, I was not of the herd.
I suspect this makes driving sound like a highly stressful experience—at least in the moment. However, I really had no way of seeing it that way. For the sake of sheer survival, my persona as a driver was completely set apart from who I was when I wasn’t driving. Call it Borderline Personality Disorder if you will, but I was thoroughly convinced that this was an ingenious new way of driving-being.
Of course, there were drawbacks, but to be fair, there are draw backs to just about everything. One of the larger draw backs was that despite everything, there were still many times when other drivers just didn’t see me—until it was just about too late. This fuelled the whole vengeful side of my driving persona. In fact, very little on the planet infuriated me more than driving amongst those who did not, could not or would not, notice me.
Paranoia or otherwise, I started to drive with my fog lights all the time—no matter what time of day or weather. Occasionally, the people who actually noticed would flash me with high beams, others wouldn’t necessarily notice the lights, but they actually saw me, and thus would be disinclined to cut me off, tail gate, or even rear-end me.
Sadly, my new persona, combined with fog light utilization, was not entirely fool proof. My sweet gold car’s shiny new paint job was sullied by the first of what would be many rear-end collisions, and, not un-coincidentally the acceleration of my chiropractor’s retirement plan.