You might not have seen the road accident between the cab and the cyclist, but I did. Driving up to the mini-roundabout and slowing down to turn right, I could see the cab some way in front doing a u-turn and just clip the cyclist coming out from the road on the right. Already stopped and waiting to turn, I rolled down my window to ask if the cyclist was okay.
I did this for a couple of reasons: I wanted to know if help was needed, and I wanted the cab to know that there was a witness so they took it seriously. I could hear someone beeping from behind which made it difficult to hear the cyclist. After a second shout from me, he waved to say he was okay, and I drove off reassured nothing too bad had happened. The whole thing took maybe 30 seconds.
But as I’m turning on the roundabout, the beeping didn’t stop. Turned onto my road, it just got louder, and looking into my mirror, all I can see is a huge big black range rover maybe centimetres away from my tiny car’s bumper, lights bright and dazzling.
So I slowed my car down and stopped. I got out of my car. Because I am a fool but also because at the point there was some basic chance that you’d seen some problem with my car (or the accident) that I needed to know about.
You came hurtling out of your car towards me, swearing and calling me names, telling to speed up. I was no more than ten metres from the roundabout so it’s a bit difficult to see how I could have been going faster. I asked if you’d missed the accident, if maybe you hadn’t seen what was going on? You didn’t stop for breath. The accident was not my business. I needed to drive faster. You threatened to hit me.
I stepped forwards. You stepped back. (Again – I’m a fool, something historic about childhood abuse we don’t need to worry about here has clearly hard-wired the wrong responses).
I told you that I was not in a hurry, that accidents were most definitely everyone’s business and responsibility to help. I asked him what was his problem? I was told to fuck off.
I urned to get into my car and he got into his. As I’m walking back maybe two steps, I feel his range rover pushing into my back. I stop and am forced one step forwards by his car. I turn and put my hands on the bonnet of his car.
“Really? You’re going to run a woman over because you’re in a hurry to get to work? Seriously”
I walked towards you and tapped on your window to ask you to run down your window. & bizarrely you did.
“I’d like to know your name”
You stopped swearing immediately and just stared straight ahead. There was a pause.
“Because you don’t seem safe to drive and I’m thinking of reporting you to the police”
A car from behind realising that though stopped, I hadn’t actually blocked the road, pulled around us. Realising you could do the same, you reversed and pulled away into the distance.
Leaving me shaking.
& seriously hoping that this not part of my character that either of my kids have inherited because, let’s face it, I was mad as a hatter to get out of the car in the first place.
But also left wondering how on earth you square what you have just done with living the rest of your everyday life today.
You were white, middle aged, maybe in your 40s, and well-to do, probably just short of 6ft tall with brown eyes, dark brown hair and a darker complexion. At a guess, I’d say you were of sephardi or arabic extraction but your accent was clearly well-to-do North London.
You probably know some of my friends. We might well meet again. Socially.
& you threatened to hit and then run over a total stranger, me, on a dark road in the middle of my suburb because you were in a hurry to get to work at 7:45 one rainy morning. What does that make you? You couldn’t care less about a potentially life threatening road accident you were driving past, because you were just too damn angry at being made to wait less than a minute.
Do you have a wife and kids at home that have to live with that anger of yours?
What happens if next time, the road accident involves your family, your wife, your child, your mother? Or does it only count if it’s you? Maybe you’re the cause of the “accidents” whether to strangers or family. How often has your wife been in the local A&E?
In our own lives, we all like to think that we are heroes, we all try to spin the stories we tell ourselves to the best, most flattering light. Yet I can’t see anyway that this event can be spun to make you look good to yourself. There is no way that threatening to hit and then drive over a smallish woman on a dark road, on the way to work can ever be made into a tale where you are the hero.
You are a road rage nutter, dangerous to everyone that you come into contact with, not least yourself, and one day you will pay the price.