Do Not Engage – Part One
Listening to the gibberish talk taking place in the back seat between my two youngest grandchildren, something caught my eye. Traveling 55 mph on a busy main road a car came barreling out from a side street without stopping. Because of his momentum, he not only entered the right lane but also my middle lane. Changing into the left lane to avoid an accident I honked my horn.
Listening once again to the backseat conversation I am oblivious of the driver who is now trying to catch me. Suddenly he is beside me in the middle lane as I continue traveling in the left lane. Between me and oncoming traffic is a curbed center divider.
Glancing over to see the car now staying next to me, he scowls back with contempt. As the saying goes, “If looks could kill…” well…. I would have just dropped dead. His anger was that obvious.
As I turn my head to look in front of me, he pulls slightly ahead. Although he has not yet cleared my front end, with both hands on his steering wheel he intentionally cranks it to the left. Slamming on my brakes simultaneously forced to crank my wheel to the left, I gasp as I think of hitting that center divider. All as I’m travelling 55 mph.
Miraculously, his flagrant maneuver was done in a 30 foot space that was a turn lane for the opposite side. Incredibly I was able to stop a few feet from the divider staring at me head on.
Shaken to the core, shocked at his brazen behavior I come up to the next signal. He is stuck at the red light so I call 911, trembling trying to tell the dispatcher what just transpired. I give her the license plate number and the make and model of the car. I plan to turn right at the next possible place but he is in front of me now going 5 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Stuck in the midst of traffic I cannot get around him. And even if I could, I am leery to try. Forced to follow slowly behind, only seemed to incense him more. I explain to the dispatcher where I am at the moment and that I will be turning as soon as possible to space myself from him.
When I am able to finally get away I pull off into a store parking lot. I stop to catch my breath as I continue to talk to dispatch. He is no longer in my view and I turn to check on the now very silent little girls.
“Are you crying Grandma?” asks three year old Jordyn, while 1 year old Malani just smiles back. I answer that I am but everything is okay. At that moment a car pulls up beside me…….. and it’s him!
He rolls down his window shaking his fist and then points his finger at me and bellows, “YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING ON THE ROAD!”
My windows are up, the doors are locked and I am still talking to the dispatcher. I describe him to her as well as put my car back in drive in case I need to move rapidly. He suddenly careens off screeching his tires through the parking lot.
Sitting there stunned I begin to consider all the ramifications that had taken place and what could have happened:
· I could have rolled my car with two babies in it.
· I could have careened into oncoming traffic.
· He could have had a gun.
· We all could have just died.
And it all started because I honked my horn.
The police officer arrived and asked if I was okay. With lips quivering, tears streaming down my face, I nodded yes. His statement to me still leaves me perplexed. He said to me, “I am sorry this happened to you, but I have found that it is better to not engage with knuckleheads like that.”
Not engage? I honked at someone who had blown through a stop sign and came into my traffic lane. And I engaged him?
It’s been twenty four hours since the ordeal and I can almost chuckle about it…… Almost.
Stay tuned, tomorrow I will share what I learned from the experience….. which possibly involves getting rid of my horn. J