I pulled the truck to a stop to adjust Garmin after coming out of the Starbucks drive-thru. It was a narrow little road, no other cars around, and I stopped where I was, basically. Entered the address of where we were going. Looked up and saw this guy in a van evidently cussing me out (I couldn’t hear him but I could lip read just fine).
His face was contorted with rage.
I was surprised and concerned – I moved the truck up and rolled down my window, looked at him directly and sincerely said, “I’m sorry” because it looked like his rage was about my being there.
He flipped me off, his face twisted and zoomed off.
To be honest, I was left feeling really sad for him because to be so… absolutely angry, so consumed with rage because he waited for me for all of 1 minute? That the exigencies of his life boil down to an inability to have a moment to spare? To be so angry that his face contorts?
And then I thought how people can get that way here – or there, where you are perhaps – because communities have grown so large. That guy knows he’s not likely to ever see me again. His kids won’t be going to school with mine and my husband won’t likely be the guy he’s going to need to call to repair his solar panels.
On the Lost Coast, people tend to be much more careful with one another because the community is so small. For every single person that you have an interaction with, there will usually be some ripple down the line. They are going to be someone to you or yours, they will mean something and they are definitely someone.
That man who cussed me out and was so livid because I took up a minute of his time would never, ever, not in a million years do so something like that in a community like the Lost Coast. Not only from the self-preservation aspect (- it would come back and bite him in the ass at some point), but simply from the time aspect: it’s just inconceivable to flip out over a minute waiting. A MINUTE, people; 60 whole seconds, how can you not have this?
This is why I can’t live in the city anymore.
I just can’t live in a world anymore where people have that kind of disregard for one another. Or, I might be able to actually live, but I won’t thrive. I won’t be happy, I won’t grow, I can’t – I need to be around people that care about each other, I need people to greet one another, even if it’s by their hand lifting in a gesture of salute from their steering wheel.
I need to have a friend or two, rather than 5 million acquaintances. I need to know and be known. I need people to see me and my family as belonging, as being a part of the thread of their own lives, as theirs is a part of ours.