When I give in to road rage, I know that I’m being a Los Angeles cliché, but I also feel like a realer version of myself, at the same time. I wish it were illegal to turn right on a red light in CA, or at least in my neighborhood (Hollywood). The fact that people can turn right on red makes it so that when they’re at the corners of intersections, they just stare left, waiting for an ever so slight break in the oncoming traffic so they can make the coveted (why?!) maneuver of turning right on a red (presumably, these assholes don’t want to be late for their botox injections and hand-done carwashes because these people sure don’t look like they have jobs to get to – they look like disgusting soulless dipshits sewn into $1000-but-still-ugly clothes). So they’re not even aware of the fact that the pedestrians have the right of way and are attempting to make eye contact with these drivers so they can safely cross the street. I’ve almost been hit several times as a pedestrian, when I thought I’d made eye contact with one of these jackoffs. I’ve also been the person who was driving straight down the street, minding my own, when one of these drivers made a right turn in front of me that made me have to jam on the breaks.
This morning, I was waiting to turn right on the corner of La Brea and Hollywood, two busy streets. La Brea might look empty for a second but then out of nowhere there’ll be someone turning onto it up at Franklin, speeding like a little demon down the street, and I’ve never been interested in trying to turn right on my red at this corner and hoping not to get hit by one of the La Brea speed demons. This morning though this old woman would honk profusely everytime there was a teeny break in the La Brea traffic because I was supposed to try to speed in front of the oncoming traffic. Maybe if she was driving she could outrace them, she had a BMW, but I have a 2001 Corolla that takes a second to accelerate. But she would not stop honking. I was seriously seeing spots from anger, I thought I was going to have a fucking heart attack. Sometimes I feel like I hate society at large and then I think “nah, life is beautiful,” and then some disgusting bitch like this lady completely shatters my fragile optimism. So to drive her crazy, I rolled down the window and turned up the radio and pretended I was just sitting there enjoying the music while waiting for my light to turn green. She increased her horn honking. Then when the light turned green, I waited for the pedestrians to pass before I made my turn and that about made her break her wrist with how hard she was honking. Finally I turned, she sped in front of me, I flipped her the bird forever and honked and honked at her. This might seem crazy to you but why should people be able to get away with acting like that. Then she got to my right and started mouthing some insult I couldn’t hear because our windows were closed. I reached over to roll down my window (I don’t have automatic windows like her) and screamed “I’m not going to speed to make a red light.” She decided to keep her window rolled up and to all of a sudden switch to “nicely” waving at me, probably thinking it’d drive me crazy to scream without being heard. I switched gears and overly nicely waved back at her when she did this, but then couldn’t help but switch to another “fuck you” and bird flipping before the light changed and we kept our distance from each other on the road.
So, am I myself when I succumb to road rage, or am I giving in to the city’s bad vibes? Really, I think I’m just being myself. I hate injustice, I hate someone owning a car that costs as much as some people’s rent, and I hate anyone who’d be self-centered enough to disregard other people’s safety. Too bad my anger turned into a bad episode of arrhythmia and a flaring up of the frequent pain in my scar tissue, that usually flares up when I get agitated. Who cares. If you're out there, lady, I'm ready for round two.