I’m driving home from TAM’s this morning and it’s dumping snow and the plows aren’t out yet.
My road is notoriously bad: windy and curvy and narrow and never sees the light of day. The drop-offs are deadly. Although it’s a well-used road, technically you could call it an Interstate, CDOT often puts it low on the priority list because bigger roads get more attention.
I put the truck in 4WD and begin the 11-mile crawl home. The speed limit is 40 mph; on a snowy day, I fly down the road at a brisk 20mph. The road is so bad that even in 4WD, with sandbags in back, I’m still sliding.
About a mile into my journey a big Dodge pulling an empty trailer creeps up behind me and starts riding my ass, brights on, I am assuming, telling me to go faster.
There’s no shoulder to pull over to let him pass.
The radio is off so I can concentrate, and the running mantra in my head is, “Don’t let him pressure you.”
I ignore him for as long as I can and finally, 9 miles in, he’s so close that I’m scared. I finally find a place where I can get a little bit off the road; there’s no one coming in the other direction so he can blow by me.
But instead, he stops right behind me, climbs out of his extra-large truck, and approaches. Cowboy. White guy. His truck is extra-large, but he’s not. Probably not much taller than I am. But he’s got a big hat and big boots to compensate.
He’s probably also got at least one big shotgun in that truck.
I roll down my window as he approaches, prepared with, “I’m fine, thanks. Just pulling over so you can pass.”
But before I can speak he yells, YELLS, “Thanks a lot for spraying all that water in my face!”
I think, “What???????????????”
Then, before I can utter a response, he continues, “Yeah, you threw all that water at me and it went all over my windshield and into my truck through my open window.”
I couldn’t think of anything to say but, “Well, you don’t have to be an asshole about it.”
All the while thinking, “What the fuck is he talking about? Did I throw my cold coffee out the window?”
And, “Do I have any ‘liberal’ stickers on my truck?”
He screams, “FUCK YOU”
And I realize that I might be in serious trouble here, if not actual danger. So I roll up my window while he’s still going off on me and I try to peel out, but of course, I kind of slide sideways back onto the road at a snail’s pace while my right rear tire is spinning in the muck.
Not quite the empowered exit I would have hopped for but…
I’ve got 2 miles left and I got a bit of a head start but he ran back to his truck and caught up pretty quickly.
My mantra has now become, “Don’t let it get to you. You didn’t do anything.”
Mixed in with, “If you weren’t riding my ass, DUDE, my spray wouldn’t have come in your window.”
And, “What idiot has his window open in the midst of a blizzard.”
Oh, the idiot behind me.
I pull into my driveway. I don’t stop to check the mail because I was afraid he too will stop.
Instead, he guns it and flips me the bird.