If you don't already, after reading this blog you will think I am an asshole. Either quit reading now, or prepare to have your optimistic presuppositions bashed against a rock. I am no saint.
On this morning's commute, rain was flooding the streets in a torrential downpour. My windshield wipers were back-and-forthing with such gusto that the slapping noise they made was making me insane. I had already woke up late, subsequently missing my morning coffee and egg. I was cut off, I flipped off, and the streets were such a mess that snow would have seemed a welcome relief. I was going to be late for work, and only one thing makes me more upset than being late (losing things).
After fifteen minutes (three miles), there was finally a break in traffic. There is this curve of I-80 Eastbound right after the 680 interchange where you can go whatever speed you want at anytime. There are never any cops because there is no exits or entrances where they can sneak in or out. It is its own little Neverland of road. Upon reaching this clearing, my mood sweetened ever so slightly. I pushed down my gas pedal and whipped around the curve much too quickly. There, on the left, I saw a stranded car. Well, not a car. A minivan. A red minivan. A red minivan with a large bike rack protruding from the rear.
There is only one person in all of Omaha whose vehicle matches this description, and she happens to be my co-worker. I cast a prolonged sideways look as I kept driving, my speedometer needle not wussing out for even the slightest second. That was Kathy, I mused. Then turned up the tunes. I arrived at work and quickly noticed the red minivan with the bike rack was no where to be seen. Kathy's chair sat abandoned. Must have been her. Couldn't have been anyone else, I confirmed to my undoubtful mind.
Kathy showed up awhile later and I stopped in her office to confirm my suspicion. "Hey, was that you stranded on the interstate this morning?" I asked as casually as asking if there were any glazed donuts left. "You saw me?" she asked, incredulously. "Yeah, right after the 680 interchange," I confirmed. She stared at my blankly. "Why didn't you stop, you asshole?"
"What am I going to do? I don't know how to fix anything," I offered weakly.
"You could have offered her a ride to work," a third party chimed in from over the cubicle wall.
Truthfully, I hadn't thought of that.
"I was in the right lane," I offered lamely, "and it was raining and slippery..." You probably don't believe in real life that voices can trail off, but mine did. This happens when someone realizes what they're saying is worth nothing and they have already been disregarded.
What surprises me (but shouldn't) is that I didn't even realize it was an asshole move until it was pointed out to me. Who ignores a stranded co-worker in a torrential downpour? I was still trying to justify my actions when I returned home this evening. "But realistically, would you pull over if you saw Richard stalled on the side of the road?" I asked Steve, waiting for him to blurt out, "hell no."
"Of course," he answered. "I'm not a complete asshole."
OK, well, you got me there. But I hear the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well here goes, blogosphere: "My name is Holly and I'm an asshole."