by Sandra

Sorry Mom, I know you don’t like it when I use the word “asshole,” but given the story I’m about to tell, it’s appropriate and warranted. Allow me to explain.

So today, my friend Katrina and I were going to see a movie in Santa Monica. Katrina drove, and it’s important to know here that Katrina is a fairly new driver. And by new, I mean licensed in the past couple of months. Now, as some of you readers may know, Los Angeles is known for its, how should we say, atrocious drivers. I don’t envy anyone who has to learn to drive on its streets, littered with horrible, unsafe and angry drivers. Well, that’s what Katrina and I encountered today on the way to Santa Monica.

We were stopped at the light at Venice, waiting to make a right-hand turn onto Lincoln. The oncoming traffic was turning left onto Lincoln, but Katrina started to make a right, not aware that there were two lanes of traffic that were making left turns, and she almost—almost turned right into another car. And almost hit—not actually hit. She was going slowly and it was an honest mistake. She got upset about it though as we traveled North-bound on Lincoln, but I advised her to shake it off—it’s okay, people are bound to make mistakes, it’s not a big deal.

Well, the guy in the Beemer that we cut off apparently thought otherwise.

Now, road rage is a normal occurrence in L.A., and it would have been acceptable (well, kind of) if the guy had decided that he need to shout obscenities at us or flipped us the bird—fine, whatever, get it out. But this guy decided the usual barbaric display of anger wasn’t enough. No, Mr. Beemer gets into the left-hand turn of Lincoln, looking as if he’s set to turn onto a little side street called Superba. Yet all of a sudden, as we drive past him, we see his arm fling something into the air from the driver’s-side window. I didn’t realize what it was at first, but the unidentified flying object soon made its presence known right on the windshield of our car. It was a glass bottle, and it shattered into a million little shards in the top left-hand corner of the windshield at its point of impact. Thank God, the windshield didn’t break, but it did shatter, and we were showered, Katrina especially, with tiny slivers of glass.

Shocked, we pulled over. Katrina was too rattled to even know to put the car into park or turn the emergency blinkers on. Luckily, there were two guys on bikes who saw what happened and got the license plate number of the car behind the Beemer—who looked as if they were traveling together. Then within thirty seconds of pulling over, a cop car drove past and we flagged them down. Even more providentially, we were parked right in front of a small, mom-and-pop car dealership who let us use their vacuum to suck up all the tiny pieces of glass that littered the front seat of the car. The cops were efficient and friendly and we were shaken but not hurt.

But that guy, Mr. Beemer. Yikes. I was really angry for a while. Well, I still am, but I don’t know how much I will really write here. I just don’t understand the thought process it takes to get someone to the point of inflicting harm on people who meant them no wrong. What else does this guy blow up at? Does he make a habit of it? Was he really so upset about being cut off? What is it really worth to him to act the way he does? How does it make him feel? How empty is his soul? How does he carry about the rest of his day? In the same manner? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but to think about it deeply just makes me sad. ‘Cause I’m sure if you dug down deep with Mr. Beemer, you’d learn that he’s a pretty unhappy dude. I guess of all the things I could say about him, to say that he engages in assholery is actually pretty mild.