I revved the engine of my car, looking sideways at the driver sitting next to me at the red light. A middle-aged man, dressed in a suit, most likely on the way home from work. He didn’t stand a chance.
By keeping one eye on the lights going the opposite direction, I caught the change to yellow. I turned my head back forward, positioning my foot over the accelerator. I was a coiled spring, ready to leap into action.
I slammed my foot down, my car lunging ahead of the businessman. His Cadillac wasn’t good for much if he didn’t use it, I thought triumphantly. I watched with satisfaction as he faded into my rear view mirror.
Looking up ahead, I could see that my left lane was a sea of red lights; someone was trying to turn left, and was stuck waiting in the middle of the road. I cut right, merging in front of my defeated Cadillac opponent, and zoomed past the jam.
I never understood how people could trudge along at ten miles below the speed limit, letting their cars idle as they sat for precious seconds at green lights or stop signs. Didn’t people want to get to their destination sooner, rather than later? Why were they so slow, acting like barely moving obstacles in the road for me to dodge?
Another obstacle, coming up. This time, my opponent was a slow-moving bus, taking up a lane and a half as it pulled over haphazardly to pick up passengers at a stop. I looked at the other lane, at oncoming traffic. The nearest approaching car was still a good block away. Perfect. I jerked the wheel slightly to the left, swerving around the bus, my left wheels briefly kissing the center line.
I always remember hearing that we were supposed to drive defensively, that we were supposed to be careful and slow in our decision making when behind the wheel. I had stuck to that policy for many years, but it had gradually changed, evolved.
There were so many dangerous drivers on the road. Anyone who acted defensively, who merely reacted to events, would be overcome, bogged down, stuck in gridlock and brought to a standstill.
Instead, I had chosen a different strategy. Taking a leaf from the military’s playbook, I went for the preemptive strikes. Anticipating threats, avoiding and escaping from those who posed a danger, and being ever-ready to dodge incoming issues. My goal was to get ahead of the bad drivers, to swerve around the slow ones, to ensure my safety by defeating my opponents.
I drive offensively.