Witnessed something terribly scarring this evening, and while I hope I can somehow erase the images from my head, I need to share it so we can even attempt to change this monstrous world we’ve had the misfortune of being born into. Driving home from work today, I was tailing a car driven by an elderly man, who, as luck would have it, was a striking reminder of my father. Similar frame, spectacles, and that similar fumbling with the car quite typical of a senior citizen who is no longer as confident a driver as he perhaps was once upon a time. This gentleman happened to slow down a little too much a good 10-odd seconds before the signal went from green to amber, and as a result of this, a few vehicles (including mine) ended up having to stop at a signal we could have cleared. This happens all the time, but I get it. It’s frustrating. It’s infuriating and I’d be lying a hypocritical lie if I said I’ve never used some words of choice in such situations.
But one guy on a bike, he went too far. Too bloody far. He stepped off his bike and unleashed the ugliest wrath, the kind I had honestly only seen in the movies. He started kicking the car aggressively, and when that didn’t seem to achieve whatever he aspired to, he took off his helmet and started hitting the car window in a fit of rage. He then picked up a block of what appeared to be concrete, and hurled it at the car window, which finally gave in and shattered. This chap then yanked the old man out of the car and continued to beat him up just as relentlessly, until this man – who just a couple of minutes ago was a vision reminiscent of my father and my memories of his driving (that had steadily declined as age ruthlessly played its game) – turned into an abstract mess of blood, fear and helplessness.
Eventually, the cops did come and managed to separate them, and the elderly man was taken away for first aid, but this was nothing short of traumatic.
The only thing that has pacified my sobbing self is writing this post because I do so with hope. As so many of us on my friends’ list are now becoming parents and bringing children to this world, please vow to teach your babies the value of love, respect and patience. Please teach them that the three minutes they save at a traffic signal will not be the three that they will spend to change the world, but the patience that would have saved the blood of that man, that would have at least made a dent.