This SUV was tailgating me in the neighborhood. It swerved, consuming my driver-side mirror. I pulled over and it zoomed past me. I made a split second decision to follow it.
All day long I had been trying to focus on feeling love for everyone. I meandered around the outdoor shopping center looking hard at people, attempting to see their inner light. I reminded myself that to love others, I have to love myself. To love myself, I told myself that everything will work out the way it's supposed. By believing everything will always work out the way it's intended, I won't beat myself up for things that I perceive to be bad. Then, I will be able to feel good about myself and my actions and give love to perfect strangers.
The SUV turned right into a street without an outlet. The SUV turned left into a driveway. I stopped my car with the window open, waiting for the driver to get out. He did. He was a 30-something round Asian man. he wore a baggy plain gray t-shirt, khaki shorts, and flip flops. "Excuse me, sir. Why were you tailgating me back there?" I asked in an aggravated tone.
"Dude, I wasn't tailgating you," he replied as he hesitantly sauntered over to my car.
"Yes you were! You were on top of me! You were tailgating me and..." just then, a small child hopped out of the back seat, "...AND YOU HAVE A CHILD WITH YOU!" I yelled in utter disbelief.
"I didn't want to say this, but you pulled out right in front of the car in front of you," He said. We were both shaking from a mixture of anger and nerves.
"Huh? I can't believe you were tailgating me with a child in your car!"
"I wasn't tailgating, dude. You slowed down in front of the car in front of you."
"You made a left turn back there, right?" I had. I told him so. "The car in front of you had to slow down.I had enough room, but the car in front of you had to slow down."
"There was no car in front of me." I decided to try to understand what he was saying. "You were over here." I showed him with my right hand, my fingers heading left. "There was a car over here, coming this way." It was headed in the opposite direction. I used my left hand and moved it right. "I made a left."
"Yes. I saw the car other car break. You jumped out right in front of it."
"How could you see that car brake? You were coming from the other direction. You couldn't see that," I scoffed.
"I saw it slowdown."
"You couldn't have seen that. I love how you're trying to change the subject." My voice rose. "The issue is you were driving with a child and fucking tailgating me!"
"Hey, don't use that language in front of him."
I instantly felt bad for doing so. I was caught up in the moment and upset. But, I answered, "That's not as bad as tailgating. That's dangerous. If I stop, BAM!" I showed him a crash with my two hands. "That's dangerous. You put that child in danger. You put that child in danger!"
And that seemed like a good moment to stop the conversation.
Later, while walking in the park, I thought, 'That was a ridiculous conversation that didn't need to happen."
Or did it?