My Life In His Hands 生殺与奪の権

It does not look like an urgent situation, but these police cars are proudly parking in the bike lane on 8th Ave. This is why bikers  are pushed into the car lanes and several are killed every year. This image tells us the reality of biking in New York but actually it has nothing to do with today’s post, because it is  impossible to take a picture of the situation I am going to describe.  The other day I was almost hit by a car going full speed passing about 12 inches from me. My heart was about to stop. We were both going the same direction and after the next stop light the same car did the same thing again. When I caught up to him stopping at the next red light, I knocked on his door.



He was thinking I was going to yell at him. His language was very protective and he took up a fighting pose, constantly bringing up aggressive counter theories. After all he said “ Do you want to argue about who is right and who is wrong? you want me to apologize to you, right? I can do that for you.” There was someone beside him who looked like his girlfriend and maybe he wanted to prove that he could be a gentleman.  “No, no, I am just asking you  to slow down or wait until there is enough space between us the next time”. In fact, I will never have the chance to meet him again so  I was asking for a favor that would never be required. I am sure he was thinking “Why did this bike guy stop me? The only reason is he wants to blame me and put me down.” I guess that idea came from his world view, or living in New York too long.

Drivers think that they have  total control of their car and would never hit a bike, they are so confident about it when they pass. But pedestrians and bikers do not see it  that way. Can you blindly trust him or her? You cannot see what the driver is like. Your life is 100%  in his or her hands. We do not know the airline pilots of our flights but we can trust them, but we cannot trust an anonymous driver approaching you from behind. They do not understand that even though they feel totally safe it  is far different from what we feel is safe.

The traffic light turned green and he began to go. At the last moment as he was closing his window I heard “OK the next time”. Maybe he did understood what I meant and after all he is a nice guy!!

運転している彼は僕に報復されていると受け取っているのか、酷く防御的で、攻撃的な反論を持ち上げてくる。あげくに、「 どっちが正しくて、どっちが悪いかを決めたいのだろう?謝ってほしいなら、そうしてやってもいいぜ 」 と言う。紳士ぶりたいのだろうか、助手席 にはガールフレンドらしきが座っている。「 いやいや、そうではないんだ、通り過ぎるときはスピードを落とすか、十分間隔が取れるまで待ってくれないか、 たのんでいるだけなんだ。今度からはそうしてくれない?」 考えてみれば、彼に再び会うことは二度とないだろうから、このお願いが将来、僕個人の利益に帰って来ることはない。それならなんで 無駄な抗議をするんだ?この自転車男がそんなことをする意図は一つ、俺を屈服させ、謝らせることだ。――― これが彼の人生観から来る前提だったに違いない。


信号が青になったので、彼は窓を閉めかけ、動き出した。その時!窓の隙間から 「今度は 」、と言う声が聞こえてきた。あれれ、わかってくれたのかな?!ナイスガイだったんだ !!


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