There is a woman who drives a beater Honda who lives somewhere on the same road as I live. She's a speeder. She tailgates. Her driving behavior is obnoxious. My son referred to her as "an old bag." I'm afraid she's probably younger than I am so the "old bag" comment stung for a split second until I forgot he said it which at my age usually takes only a couple of seconds. My neighbor was tormented by the same woman speeder and he told me a story of how he blocked her on the road and read her the riot act about her tailgating. (My neighbor lives behind a tall fence with a menacing gate.)
But me, -- I used to speed like this woman when I was much younger. Though now I drive much more slowly - like aged molasses lava-ing its way down the neck of an upturned bottle. I'm futzing along home on a barely-paved road with potholes the size of a certain someone's pre-gastric-bypassed ass. I've lived out here long enough to know that deer spring up out of nowhere appearing like a sort of magical unicorn where nothing stood only seconds before and more often than not, there are more than one deer right behind - sometimes the babies with spots who don't know to move quickly. They haven't learned the rules of the road. I've witnessed smaller foresty-type animals practically committing suicide as I've driven down my road at wheel chair speed. I once ran over a snake I thought was a stick - a very slow moving stick, warming itself innocently in the center of the road where the sun beats white hot on a summer afternoon. Nothing spoils an nice afternoon like killing something even if it was an accident.
I moved to this area to get away from speeders (not really - I moved here more for the beauty of the area). I moved in the middle of the forest so no one could build a home dumpo across the street or Fried Electronics one block away from my home and then proceed to hold Grand Opening sales several times a month; delivery trucks backing up - a steady BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP at 4am even on weekends.
Yesterday, this woman tailgated my car as I was driving with Bella - sitting half on my lap, half on the center console. A casual jaunt home in the late afternoon warmth of a forest-dappled sun, top down in the VW. We were doing my usual 20 mph, avoiding the potholes. Bella was curious about the tailgater so she stood up to admire the stranger out of the back of my car. The woman was yelling out her window at us - maybe shouting "What a pretty puppy!" I couldn't discern what she was saying as the speed of my car pushed the wind carrying the decibels of her voice to the back instead of forward to my ears. Maybe the woman was annoyed, assuming my dog was sitting too close, interfering with my ability to speed at a pace this woman was more comfortable with though I think that my increasing inability to speed was interfered with by this woman being so close to me.
The downside to forest road-rage is living isolated. We have one road. The woman drives by my house daily - speeding ultimately to her death, We'll all turn to dust some day. Why rush it? Whether she's hurrying to hit a deer or slam into a redwood tree; she's stacking odds. Whatever her goal, I'd rather she not share it in the same forest with me or with a deer or even a tree.
I wonder if she thought about our shared experience as much as I did once she arrived at her destination? I wondered if she drove home, jumped out of the car, slammed the door, walked into the trailer and started shouting about "this idiot old bag who was driving with a dog in her lap!" I wonder if after she got home, she felt nervous because she lives alone in the middle of a forest? All I can say to that is I sure hope so.