I’ve had a part of my character that I can’t explain for a long time. There is a part of me that can take almost any setback without despair. There is another part of me that can’t stand to have the smallest thing go wrong.
I was at a friend’s house earlier this summer. His oldest son, A, will be starting school in a year or two. I was there to help my friend build a swing set for the kids. I brought my camera, as I’m wont to do. A followed me all around the backyard. He was fascinated by my camera. After hanging on my shoulder strap and reaching for it several times, I just handed the whole thing to him. He wasn’t ready for the weight of a big macro lens, so it swung into the ground right away. My friend was keeping a sharp eye on us. I could see him thinking about consequences. For me more than for him. He’s a good friend.
A started taking pictures of my foot. He shot my whole CF card in about 3 minutes. I just had time to clear some room on the card when A reached for it again. This time, He tried his best to lift the lens up, while I tried my best to press myself down. He managed to get a couple shots of my belt.
How does this relate to me? I can honestly say that A breaking my camera doesn’t bother me. The thought of it didn’t bother me while he was running around. It still doesn’t. It was great to try to explain photography to him, and have him interested in it.
Here’s where my fickle nature shows through, though. I live 5 minutes away from work, so I have a super easy commute. 2 traffic lights, and no highways. I’ve driven a long way to work in the past, so I value my easy mornings. One tailgater, one aggressive jerk, can frustrate me right into a lousy day. Some days flowed from that moment like a stone in a calm pond.
I’m happy to report that nasty commutes don’t bother me as they used to. I’ve come to peace with the sharks that swim our streets. I drive a sporty car, so a lot of people out there assume that I want to race every knucklehead that comes along. I’ve even gotten to the point where I play with some of the more aggressive ones.
The sports cars around here vary greatly. There are a lot of V8’s out there, AND there are a lot of rice burners, too. Folks from the country seem to prefer Trans AMs, firebirds, Corvettes. The closer I get to the city, the higher the ratio of Civics, Supras, and Lancers. By the time I’m downtown, the buzzbox exhausts are all around me.
Besides being cut off, squat and pushed, the stoplight is where most of them challenge me. I don’t like to race. In fact, I never race. I don’t even tailgate. I bought my car because I like the way a tight suspension and powerful engine feels when I drive. It’s a guy thing. Give me all the “making up for something else” you want, I still just love driving it.
I was driving down a four lane, un divided road. I was on my way to one of the middle schools. Some dork in a Firebird kept buzzing in and out of traffic, always a little way ahead of me. I passed a slow car (35 in a 45?) and found myself coming up to a red light at my turn off. Firebird drifted into the other lane. I’ll admit that I delayed putting on my turn signal until he couldn’t see it anymore. Sitting at the light, he kept looking over at me and tapping his gas. I obliged, clacking the shifter through the gears and half chirping the tires. The light turned Green. I squealed my tires for one or two revolutions, then turned. Firebird actually broke traction stomping on the gas, and didn’t realize that I wasn’t behind him until he got control back.
I don’t usually play with aggressive drivers, responding usually brings negative consequences. This guy deserved it, though… that’s my only defense