Saturday, January 10, 2009


Today when I was out running errands, I witnessed a grown woman ram her SUV into a parking lot snowbank. She put her car into reverse and eked back out onto the main drag that circled the plaza, the main drag that I was driving on. I stomped on my brakes.

She backed fully into my lane, and I figured when she turned her head to look my way, I'd see a face pinking with embarrassment and anxiety. After all, she'd just accidentally run into a snowbank in a busy plaza. I figured I'd see her hastily jamming the car back into drive and trying to maneuver around the snowbank so she could get out of my--and everyone else's--way. But when she turned her face to me, I could see she didn't look embarrassed at all. Instead, she looked angry, lit-up, crazed. And when she did put her car back into drive it wasn't to maneuver around the snowbank; it was to plow back into the bank, jamming the nose of her vehicle far into the stack of ice and snow. She was no longer trying to avoid the snowbank. She was trying to kill the snowbank. Obliterate it. The woman's teeth were barred and her eyes were wild as she went at the snowbank another time.

And as I drove quickly around before she could take another pass at it, I understood her completely. I understood the impulse, the urge to take a car and ram it into something, hard and repeatedly. I understood wanting to take something down, dismantle it, make it nonexistent. I understood wanting to feel the impact, the hard kiss of the crash. I'd felt it before on the worst of days, but of course I'd never been crazy, bold, or reckless enough to go through with it.

And as I watched in my rear view mirror as the woman put her car in reverse one more time, I was just the smallest bit jealous that it wasn't me getting to feel that quick lick of satisfaction when the car hit the snow.

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