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Road Rage

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For those of you who have been to or even heard of a little place called Cape Cod, you’ll probably remember the sparkling beaches. For those of you who have ever lived there, year round, you’ll remember the boredom of the winter season.

You see, my friends and I used to be able to entertain ourselves with the same old activities: mall, movies, bowling, etc. But after a few weeks, we were too bored to even think about doing anything of the sort. So instead, we’d entertain ourselves by driving around in a car aimlessly. I mean we all had just gotten our licenses, and the sense of freedom always attracted us.

Well one day, this idea didn’t work out so well for us. I was sprawled out in the back seat of my friend’s car. Lauren was driving; Jenny was in the passenger seat, playing DJ. As you’d expect, we were just a couple of teenagers singing songs about dynamite and clubbing. You know, the usual.

It’s about ten or eleven on a Saturday night, and pitch black (that’s another thing about the Cape—streetlights are overrated). There are a few other cars out on the road, and I glance behind me, only to become temporarily blinded by a pair of headlights right behind us. For those who have never encountered a Masshole, this wasn’t like your average tailgater. This was more like an attachment to your bumper. I didn’t say anything until Lauren spoke up, slightly worried.

Not thinking too much about it, I turned and waved. Sort of like a ‘hey, you’re kinda really close to us, if you haven’t noticed’ kind of wave. But it didn’t matter how I intended it, because whoever was in that old pick-up took it as a challenge to his driving ability. Moments after the wave, we got the usual pissed off flash of a high beam.

But that was only the beginning.

After a few more flashes (and mind you, one headlight went out each time the headlights flickered on, as if to emphasize their point), the swerving began. One point they were off into the middle of the road, and the next I thought they were going to hit the guard rail. I could tell Jenny was holding back a shout and Lauren was trying hard to stay calm. I couldn’t help wanting to shrink into my seat, but at the same time I couldn’t take my eyes off the truck.
At one point, they drove in the opposite lane next to us, and Jenny suggested hopefully that maybe they were attempting to pass us; Lauren followed her suggestion and slowed down noticeably. But just as our hopes rose, they slammed on the breaks and resumed—I don’t know—taunting us?

So eventually we neared a set of lights, which opened into two lanes. We remained in the right lane, hoping yet again they’d pass us. But when they stuck stubbornly right behind us, like a true Masshole, we began to go through our options. You know, nothing in Drivers Ed really prepares you for stuff like this. I mean sure, they tell you to avoid road rage, but that’s all. There’s no chapter on what to do if you’re being followed by an old pick-up truck or how to avoid tailgaters. So we finally decided we’d either A) we stay on the road and ride it out; B) take a right onto a (deserted) road; or C) pull into a parking lot (which was again, deserted).

I managed to convince them to stay on the road, and about five seconds after we merged into one lane, the pick-up’s blinker flicked on. I sighed with relief, and informed Lauren, who had managed to keep her cool, and Jenny, who I could tell had turned pale even in the dim light, that we were finally free of them.

Now I don’t know if it was paranoia that kept me watching the truck, but I looked back at them. They were about to enter a nice, gated neighborhood. I’m sorry if this is taken as prejudice, but I had some suspicions about an old, one-headlighted, troublemaking truck entering a neighborhood like that.

Sure enough, the blinker turned off, along with the headlights.

I don’t know how many of you have attempted to drive without headlights on at night, and like I said, we’re not too big on streetlights. I’ve tried it once going down my neighborhood—didn’t get too far before I switched them back on and saw I was on the wrong side of the road.

We had gained a leeway, and I watched as the dark shape of a truck made its way down the hill, first slowly, and then picking up speed as it neared. I yelled for Lauren to speed up, and chucked my phone at Jenny, realizing for the first time that maybe, just maybe, we should call the cops or something. Of course Lauren couldn’t speed up (there was a car ahead of her), and Jenny cursed at my complicated phone.

There were two things going through my mind. The truck was either going to crash before it made it to us, or misjudge the distance and slam into the back of the car. And I was in the back of the car; I was going to be the middle of a car sandwich in just a few seconds.

So I’m in the back, hyperventilating, Lauren is still in the zone, and Jenny is frantically trying to dial a number on my phone, when the truck slams on the breaks yet again and flips on it’s high beams one last time before immediately turning onto a side street. They had made their point.

Jenny congratulated Lauren on her driving, and they were relieved. Meanwhile, shaking uncontrollably in the back, I had learned my lesson.

Never mess with a Masshole.



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through_my_eyes said...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm
Aha, I LOVE how intense the story is. I also love the ending of it, it was sort of a surprise. Very nice piece :)
 
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