When I go to the healthy city of Austin, one of the activities I love while there, is to walk the Hike and Bike Trail with my friend, Karen. We usually meet at the same spot under the Mopac Bridge but today, we had to find a new spot because the crews were cleaning up and dismantling the stages after the big ACL Music Festival this past weekend.
So after a cell phone call, it was decided to meet by the highschool. Easy enough. I turned at a different intersection and proceeded to the agreed upon spot. In Texas, you can turn right on a red light if no cars are coming so I pulled forward to wait for the oncoming cars to pass. I didn’t want Karen to have to wait on me but who opened the gate? My gosh, like cattle, the cars just kept coming and I had to sit at that intersection for a while.
Soon, I heard a honk. I saw some other car move so I knew that the honk must have been for that driver. Still waiting for a break in the traffic, I soon heard another honk. Really? I looked in the rear view mirror. The car behind me is honking!
My mind started to race. Why is she honking at me? Where in the heck does she expect me to go? I’m not going to just pull out into the oncoming traffic so she can get to where she needs to be on time. She should have started earlier and she wouldn’t be so pressed for time. She must be a highschool girl who is late for a class. These young drivers just don’t get it.…and my mind went on and on….and on.
Finally, I saw my chance and pulled out, made the corner and drove on. I waved at the honking driver behind me. A “nice” wave, like, thanks for nothing darling, hope your day gets better, wave. I really wanted to forget my Christian upbringing and flip-up that middle finger but….I don’t do that anymore. No, I just think about doing it.
I found a parking place and saw Karen pull in the parking lot not long afterwards. Perfect timing. We hugged and started on our way.
These walks are therapy walks and we start talking and don’t stop until we are all talked out. I related to her what had happened at the intersection and how this highschool girl had honked at me. What in the world did she expect me to do, I asked her?
She looked at me and laughed.
That was me, silly! she said. I was waving my arms at you to get your attention and then I honked so you would look up and see me! Oh, just shoot me….
I’m smiling to myself as I relive the whole story I made up in my mind about what I thought had been happening but couldn’t have been further from the truth.
We laughed and wondered how many times that must happen with people all over the world, every minute of the day.
Looking back on it, I am smiling now but at the time I was really getting myself worked up. That is just ridiculous, Lissa, I’m thinking to myself. Oh well, cut yourself some slack. You didn’t raise that middle finger…