I was going to title this post something a bit less hyperbolic. In the end, though, I had a run in with a Jerk, and I calls it likes I sees it.
Today, as I biked in a bike lane on a fairly busy street, I encountered a Jerk. At a stoplight, an old beat up van pulled up alongside me. Immediately upon stopping the passenger in the van rolled the window down and began harassing me. Thankfully, I couldn’t make out what he was saying to me, as I didn’t bother to look over at him and I was listening to music. I’ve never been so thankful for earbuds. He also laughed at me and made weird, howling type of noises. I was very grateful when the light turned green and they sped off ahead of me.
How I felt during this strange 10-15 seconds of my life:
- Humiliated. I may not have heard his exact words, but I didn’t have to. I knew the point was to make me feel self-conscious and powerless. It worked for a nano second.
- Angry. Understandable.
- SERIOUSLY angry. Like, blood-boiling angry.
- Vengeful. I came very close to wishing I could have a Towanda type of moment:
I wondered if I should just turn around and go back home. Was this Jerk a bad omen for the rest of my ride? Ultimately, I decided I wanted to bike. So I should. Why should I let some stranger, who we have established is a Jerk, call the shots with what I do with my free time? So on I biked and, gradually, my intense anger and rage dissipated. The sun shone, the wind blew, and I saw so many deer, geese, ducks, and other wildlife. I listened to good tunes. I waved hello and exchanged smiles with quite a few other cyclists. It ended up being a really nice ride.
In conclusion: I won. The Jerk, who thought he’d ruffle my feathers or get in my head didn’t. And… I’ll be back on my bike tomorrow, too.