I was kind of shocked at something that occurred today while I was on the interstate, driving home for lunch. I was in the fast lane, driving
The reason I was in the left lane is that I was in the process of passing a string of slower vehicles to my right. As the SUV came speeding up behind me, I was watching for a safe opportunity to move back into the right lane. The SUV, unfortunately, couldn’t wait to see what I planned to do. Instead, he moved right up on my bumper, did a last-minute zig in between two closely spaced cars to pass me on the right, then a reckless zag back in front of me, just barely missing my right front fender.
That kind of driving scares the heck out of me, but it wasn’t shocking. What took me aback was what happened immediately afterward. All of a sudden, I found myself watching my 63-year-old left hand, entirely of its own volition, whip itself into the air and extend its middle finger skyward. Can you believe it?
I can count on the fingers of one hand the times in my life I’ve made that particular gesture, and most of those times it was done in a joking way. Why in the world would my hand make an ass of itself now, when I couldn’t back up such an aggressive gesture if my life depended on it?
Now, I’m pretty laid back, but I'm not pretending that I never have a mean or angry thought. Once in a while I do. I guess everybody does. Most of us, fortunately, have learned that life is much easier when we don’t act on every random thought that crosses our minds. It’s called “self-control,” and up until today I thought it was something I’d pretty much mastered.
So here I sit, thinking about character again. I’ve decided that I’m fairly comfortable with the content of my character overall, but there are some individual parts of me that need attention. Among other things, there are my feet and knees that have become increasingly uncooperative. Also my butt. The lazy thing parks itself in a chair at the slightest excuse. And now I’ll have to keep a close watch on this errant hand.