Few things scare me more than the unpredictability of crazy/drug-addled people.

Yesterday, I was walking my four Westies across the street that runs between two sections of Roseville’s Central Park. There is a clearly marked cross walk, though I never assume people will stop for me. I would have kept waiting, but a nice gentleman who was heading north (approaching on my left) stopped and waved us on. I got to the midpoint of the road and saw a red muscle car driving pretty fast from my right, heading south. I slowed and watched him cautiously to see if he was, indeed, going to stop. He slowed just enough for me to know he’d noticed us. I made the dogs run with me the rest of the way across the four-lane road.

As soon as we were almost to the other side, the driver of the muscle car gunned it and started to speed past. Just then, the nice, middle-aged gentleman who’d originally stopped called out to the aggressive driver, “Slow down!” and proceeded to drive on, northward. The next second, the muscle-car driver spun around in the middle of the street and took off in pursuit of the driver who’d admonished him.

My heart just sank and I became physically sick to my stomach from the waves of irrational rage that came off that muscle-car driver. Everything happened so quickly, I knew I wouldn’t even prove a good witness should something bad happen. I never even glimpsed the aggressive driver’s face and could only say his car was red (and yes, for fear of being labeled sexist, I am assuming he was a male). Big help. And they’d both driven off and out of my sight in seconds, which I admit I was a bit grateful of because I imagined him coming after me and my dogs if we had been eye witnesses to whatever he planned to do. Paranoid? Maybe, but you didn’t see and/or feel this guy’s actions. I couldn’t put anything past him.

I sent out prayers of protection to the probable victim of the hothead’s road rage. I felt sick for a good 10 minutes after the encounter though I have no idea what, if anything, happened.

I cannot know if the second driver’s aggression stemmed from mental illness, drug use/abuse, or a character flaw. All I know is that his hair-trigger temper was making him a time bomb and that even if nothing too bad happened as a result of his giving chase to the polite-to-me driver, he’d surely blow at some point and make victims of those around him.

People like that are so scary because of their unpredictableness. Those who know that person must walk on eggshells all the time, and I pity the stranger who inadvertently offends the unhinged person’s sensibilities. I realize that with this god-awful Recession, a lot of people are under terrible pressure that can make them snap when it’s least expected, too. I can only hope and pray this man’s emotional explosion dissipated before he hurt someone else.

 

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