It was a beautiful Sarasota morning as we began our family vacation. Golf, lounging by the pool, and glorious Gulf of Mexico sunsets were on the docket.
I had not found time, pre-trip, to get a much needed haircut and so took the opportunity to sneak out of a slowly-waking household to trek the short half mile to a chain barbershop.
The walk was cool in the shade, radiantly hot in the sun. I had to cross a busy, five-lane state road and waited patiently for the light to turn my way. A younger, less patient version of myself would have dashed across the street once traffic permitted, red light be damned. A bad heel and a laid-back vacation attitude conspired to allow me to wait my turn.
My green light was accompanied with a generous, 45-second, countdown clock. Still, I walked with purpose and verve. I suspected that pedestrianism here was a rare bird, and I wasn’t comfortable playing chicken with a two-ton SUV piloted by an inattentive senior citizen.
I was three quarters across when the driver of a red Corvette, itching to make a right into the crosswalk that would as a result cut me off, paused with heavy reluctance.
Apparently, he struggled with the concept of yielding to pedestrians. I was the cause of his angst so I chose to communicate. Verbal communication was not possible so I spread my arms out and coupled it to a quizzical look on my face as if to suggest I understand you’re impatient, I’ll be out of your life in about five seconds…chill, man, okay?
In return, I received the full force of his middle finger. The “fuck you” message was succinct but clear: He hated me. I had impacted his day. His time was more valuable than mine. It never occurred to him to choose a bit of tolerance, a bit of civility. Humans… gotta love ‘em… ‘cuz you shouldn’t kill ‘em.