To the woman who crashed into my car with the force of a wrecking ball a week ago,
My car was stationary as it was impossible to inch forward. We were both stuck in unyielding peak hour traffic, yet your excuse was that you thought I was moving. In plain speak, you took your eyes off the immobile car in front of you and accelerated as if you were cruising along the highway on a Sunday.
My smouldering anger at you was valid, not because of what it would cost me at the auto body shop but because what you did was entirely avoidable. Mindlessly, you told me “This is Nigeria” when I crossly advised you to be more careful in the future. I hope you find yourself in many Nigerias and as you drive daily, may your path be richly coloured with the green-white-greens.
To the boy who hit the side of my car three weeks ago,
My car was stationary, parked in the designated parking lot of a supermarket as I’d gone in to buy dried mango. All you had to do was reverse and go on your merry way, but no, you felt obligated to leave me a less than artful souvenir of your car paint.
My icy anger at you was valid because what you did was entirely avoidable, but you wouldn’t have known it from my silence. It was as though you were invisible the way I looked through you while you explained that it was not intentional. I ignored you and drove away. I wonder, would anything have remained of my car had it been intentional?
To the man who bashed the back of my car nine weeks ago,
My car was stationary as we “stood” like soldiers-at-attention in traffic. I looked forward to getting home after a long day but you assumed your destination was more important than mine and that if you “elbowed” my car aside, then you’d have room to elevate yours and float high above every other car, being the chief priest of the road and all.
My white hot anger at you was valid, as valid as the “God punish you” that I furiously pressed into your palm as a parting gift, because what you did was entirely avoidable. Oddly, it was your profuse apologies that annoyed me the most. It sounded so empty, as useless as the “P” in pneumonia.
So, to the three of you, I reiterate that my anger was as valid as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. I was entitled to it because it was all I had to comfort me there and then, after your carelessness dampened my good day. It reminded me that I am human, a living breathing person with feelings.
I’ll admit that as I drove away I fantasised about the closure I would have gotten from an Eye-for-an-Eye. I imagined myself doing to your car what you’d just done to mine, politely repaying the favour you’d done me all by myself because ever since Karma kissed a tortoise she takes forever to arrive.
Yes, I was giddy with the perverse pleasure it gave me as I imagined both your shock and my falsely innocent smile daring you to show me your invalid anger, letting you know that I had enjoyed shoving empathy down your throat, that I was delighted at the sight of your blistered feet as you walked a mile in my shoes.
Well, I replayed the mental scene over and over and over until my anger cooled, until I truly let it go completely. When I started to feel nothing but indifference, it was then that I knew I’d spent every last cent of my valid entitlement.
My anger had placated me.
PS: Ah! My car is a mess. 😄