Daily Archives: September 26, 2015

Weekend Coffee Share – Enemies Edition

Mine! Mine!If we were having coffee, I feel at some point I would complain about driving here over the last couple of years. They’ve been working on a bridge project on the main route to my work, and it’s just changed everything up. On a pretty constant basis – they’ve kept the highway open, but to work on parts have kept moving and diverting the flow of traffic.

Part of what they’ve done for this is reduce what was two lanes down to one, and left it as such for pretty much the whole time – although where we reduce down changed in the middle of the project to move further back. Still, you get the same effect: a bottleneck that we all just get to muddle through.

Which is fine, mostly, as people get in the surviving lane and we just make our way patiently through. But inevitably, there’s always the person or two who decides they want to race everyone and get to the front right where it reduces down to one lane. Not to calmly zipper in to traffic, one car at a time – they always seem to be looking to be ahead of everyone in the surviving lane.

So, I feel like there’s a lot of talk about Enemies. Like in religion, about how to treat them, about forgiveness. Like in superhero fiction, about the eternal struggle between for instance Batman and the Joker (Batman Day reference!). Like in so much of fiction, really, if the conflict is external. Like on the oh-so-many police procedurals on TV – did the deceased have enemies? Is there an easy explanation? Oh, no, never? Okay, we’ll fill the hour of television…

I look at my own life and I have trouble seeing enemies. I don’t really have enemies, I feel like. Certainly not on a personal level. On macro levels, there’s I guess people who disagree politically? Terrorists? Something like that? Nah, too abstract or inaccurate. But then it came to me. And comes back around – you guessed it. Other drivers.

And in talking to Holly about this, she had a really good point – it’s a lot like Internet trolling. There’s anonymity. Because you can’t talk to the person, can’t tell them that what they did was wrong, or why it inconvenienced you. Or if you do something wrong, you can’t tell them why – why you’re distracted, or what caught your attention, or what you were avoiding, or what have you. They are an anonymous moving vehicle, inconveniencing you or racing to get ahead of everyone and seeming like they’ll kill someone at some point…

And it leads to responses in us like aggressive driving, road rage, things like that. Certainly adrenaline and raised agitation. I had a friend whose family called curse words “car words” – I might have to steal that. While Holly and I were talking about it yesterday, at the bad merge point, a truck went careening by at high speed to get ahead – and I used a car word to describe them. Then a second truck did it! They got a louder, more agitated car word from me!

So my enemies, the people who daily put me in danger, are other drivers. It fits. We’re even probably locked in an eternal struggle…

If we were having coffee, I would ask you what you think about enemies in your own life. Internet trolls? Do you have people you actually know who are enemies? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget the coffee share linkup over on Part-Time Monster – you don’t even have to drive there.