ou don’t have the right-of-way!” shouted an FUV driver who’d skipped a stop sign, come around a corner and nearly took me and my bike out while in the crosswalk.
This is Orlando, a town made for cars, ruled by cars (in the grips of their chromed fists) and centered on cars. Motorists see the out-of-doors as a place only used for driving – it’s that void between their garage and their work parking lot and the mall. Pedestrians and cyclists are the ants that get in the way and must be horn-blared clear. A nuisance.
Statistics back me on this – Orlando is the number one most dangerous city for soft targets such as myself on highways.
So, yes, back to that incident – I wasn’t pleased by this banter with a person so desiring of a knuckle sandwich. I rode on for a while, simmering at life’s unfairness.
Then I thought of the books I’ve enjoyed in my life. I suppose I was trying to move past the upset and it was my usual goto.
I thought of the thousands of stories I’ve read (here’s the last five years alone). And over all those books, there are bad guys.
From Captain Ahab (vengeful maniac) to Aaron Jastrow (prevaricating ostrich) to Captain Long John Silver (side-swapping dealmaker), you have a wide spread. Sauron, Inspector Javert, Jaws, Professor Moriarty, Annie Wilkes, Count Ignatiev, Raven, white shirts, brown shirts, Berserkers, Martians, Colonel Bishop, Randall Flagg, The Militia, Mondego and Dantès and Mercédès (three for one), Jason Dessen (all of them), Diego de Silva, La Tour d’Azyr. Cardinal Richelieu, Alexander the Great (from my own Early Retyrement) the list goes on.
And I don’t carry anger in my heart for these characters. Even when I read the novels containing their dastardly deeds, I acknowledged that they are rotters and leave it at that.
And so, with the FUV driver, I let my anger still.
And closed the cover on him.
Done with him. Out of my life.
But I’ll reread the others. I like them, for all their villainy.