Bad drivers


Some scientists have recently made headway in creating an invisibility cloak similar to the one used by Harry Potter. It’s all very complicated, involving things that scientists get involved in like light refraction and microwaves and super-thin bits of solid material that become flexible when measured in micrometers. While the labs are working away under deadlines and budget constraints to create invisibility, I’ve found an easier way. It’s quite simple really. Let me share how you can do it and please excuse some of the less-than-polite language.

First, dress as you normally would for the daytime. Then head out for a walk to a store a couple of blocks away and when you reach the lights at the corner, wait patiently for the light to change. Wait specifically for the bottom light to turn green — the green light that says, hey pedestrian, it’s safe for you to cross because the cars are on a red light and they are required to stop for you. Check twice to be certain that the light is green and when you are certain, step off the curb and begin to walk across to the other side of the street. When you are two feet from the curb that you’ve just stepped off of (and this is important) do not be surprised when someone in a red SUV thingy comes barreling along, not noticing the red light or your green light. Don’t be surprised when the driver doesn’t stop the vehicle as it gets closer to you and when, out of concern about being smushed to the ground you stop, and the driver drives past you, oblivious to you and your look of shock and nearly knocks you down. That’s when you know you have become invisible.

You might look for an explanation in the immediate environment as to why that driver didn’t see you, but you won’t find an answer. You could think things that border on cultural, religious and gender discrimination, but nothing you think would be true. You could get angry, thinking things that are beyond rude; something like how an (ostensibly) sentient human being is little more than a living, breathing mindless asshole of the first, second and third orders, an ugly-mug kissin’ cousin to crocodiles, komodo dragons and alligators, who probably has really bad breath and smells like some mixture between a skunk and a diaper and who deserves to be visited by the ghosts of the past, present and future and peed on by a pack of feral chihuahuas.

You could think those things and they’d all be wrong and so the only conclusion that holds water is the conclusion I reached, that even though you showed up for this moment of your life, at this particular time being mindful, accepting the suffering of life, the 10,000 joys and the 10,000 sorrows, being present, being aware and devoid of illusion, accepting the interdependencies, and the illusion of duality, your non existent self very nearly did disappear, not because you understood the non existent self and finally, fully grokked its meaning. No siree, you became invisible because someone — a driver — did not, could not, would not see you because seeing you would mean slowing down and stopping and making room for, giving space to and being considerate of someone else and for some people, specially some people who are drivers, that’s just not on when they’re behind the wheel. Which is not to say there aren’t crazy pedestrians, because there are but that’s a subject to talk about another time. At any rate, now is the time to take a breath and accept that every situation is a teacher, even situations with asshole drivers.

Now some people might say that me being rendered invisible is because of karma. <Furrowing eyebrows> I cannot say. Let’s talk about that some other time, shall we?What I can say is that being invisible won’t help me to change the world in any substantive way because let’s face it, no one’s come up with an acceptable business case for changing the world and you know what that means, don’t you? It means that the only hope for change hinges on solving the following equation:

(small, unanticipated events) x (the uncertainty principle) x (ideological ignorance and arrogance) divided by (the number people who refuse to learn from personal, tribal, political and economic patterns of human history) x  (the net amount of quantum time travel between here and there and then and now) – (the residual influence of Freud in the West) + (the seismic shock of the European and Asian as they watch Honey Boo Boo) = the number of artefacts that Warehouse 13 must deliver to each world leader and power-brokering special interest group to get everyone and every institution and every fundamentalist belief to move from the -isms and -ists and the -ologies that they’ve been glued to for centuries. It’s a tough equation but no worries. Even though math is not my first language, I’m close to solving the equation. My hunch is that the answer is 3 and if I’m right, it is yet another speck of proof that Douglas Adams was onto something. I’ll publish my answer on once I confirm the results.

Meanwhile, after a deeply engaged consultation with the process which coalesces (notionally) into what the world sees as the consolidated me (a confuffuling concept designed to shock the conceptual mind but you get the idea) and a retreat to contemplate next steps, I now know what I am going to do with my invisibility. I am going to change the world on bad driver at a time. Here’s how: I’m going to haunt bad drivers, gently at first and if that doesn’t work, well, I’ll just have to fill ’em up with life lessons that they won’t soon forget. In my invisibleness, with all the equanimity, patience, compassion and loving-kindness my all-too human self can muster, I will whisper to the mindless drivers to remind them to pay attention and if that does not work, well, then I will grrrrrr loudly as I pluck them from their seats and plop them in a busy intersection in the path of other bad drivers and see how they like the feeling.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
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