For the first time since we’d arrived in the States (Jan 15 will be two years), I encountered pure nastiness.
I was at the post office picking up my shipment of *Dark City 2 (thanks Xeus!) and had parked next to a Nissan something, which had occupied its space rather tightly to my side. I could not open my door wide enough to exit without touching it. And so I did. I’d thought nothing of it if not for the sharp horn that followed.
I looked at the lady in the passenger seat and she was throwing her hands up, saying something I couldn’t hear since her windows were still up. Her face was scrunched up, her mouth twisted in an ugly gnarl. She was clearly not happy.
Wait. Is this about me? Did I do something?
Is this about the small thud my door elicited as it touched her crappy old Nissan?
As I moved to the other side to get my bag and Sky out, I could hear the car rev angrily, before moving out of its bay and stopping right behind me. By this time, I was busy trying to negotiate a three-year old who informed me in not so many words that she’d prefer to stay in the car (in retrospect, an idiotic move considering I was alone in a car park with persons of questionable emotional stability – or perhaps not, for I could’ve easily sicced my snarling demonspawn on them). However, from the corner of my eye through the rear window, I caught the rapid movement of said lady exiting her car, and then making a dramatic show of checking it for the offending dent I’d purportedly put in her jalopy. My heart was beating wildly as her eyes scanned the area critically – an area already covered with deep dark scratches and probably the blood of sacrificial deer and school-aged children – hands on hips, head shaking, mouth huffing audibly.
Should I apologise, I asked myself as I spoke in coaxing tones to a screaming demon child refusing to budge from her car seat. I probably should’ve the moment my door connected with hers, but she had her windows up and all. And there was that rude horn before I even had the chance to say anything.
Before I could decide, the witch turned to me and gave me a look that could curdle tofu (having found no evidence of alleged car-door rape), before getting into her piece of junk, slamming the door with a wham that could’ve easily dislodged paint. Clearly, she cared not a smidge about the car. It was about a total stranger invading vehicular personal space. Evidently I should be locked away and the key melted in the fires of Mount Doom.
As I carried my crying child in my arms into the post office, tires ground gravel angrily, and as Bonnie and Clyde sped away, I continued to ponder, futilely, if I should’ve apologised.
"Just say sorry next time."
Sage advice from Lokes when I called him five minutes later to report the incident, the purpose of which escapes me.
"Kinda hard when the other person looks like she wants to tear your throat out for trying to get out of your car. I was more afraid that she’d pin some other scratch on me, the state that car was in. It’s worse than our car."
"Some people just love their cars in a crazy way."
Or have their stick shifts up their collective behinds.
Of course, Lokes is right. About saying sorry and about crazy people and their cars. All I can do now is hope that perhaps, I’ll see them around town. Perhaps then I’ll be able to apologise.
And then sic my snarling three-year old on them.
*I have two short stories in here. Ta-da!
Xeus sent me more copies than I can actually give away (without begging).
Ping me if you want a Christmas present that’s authentically Malaysian.