I SPENT much of my day feeling depressed and frustrated over a letter from the IRS that was waiting for me when I got home yesterday following my South Texas trip. Not a big deal: not an audit or anything like that; the IRS just needs more information on my 2013 return. Unfortunately, I thought it was talking about 2014 so I wasted most of the day trying to figure out what its questions were.
So, when I got I got the email from a friend about a happy-hour gathering, I was more than elated to accept the invitation. The happy hour turned into three happy hours and they were just what I needed.
Great friends, decent margaritas, good conversation.
I was feeling good and mellow on my way home, so when I got to the intersection of Montrose and Richmond and saw the first few bicyclists of the weekly Critical Mass ride cross the intersection, I was not bothered, even though I knew that it would mean that I would have to sit at that intersection for some time, until all the cyclists went by.
Why the hell not, I kept repeating to myself. Why the hell not?
IN A CITY that treats cars and pickups as if they were gods, it felt good to see the bike people take over a major street. After my IRS afternoon, street anarchy sounded pretty damn good, and I ignored the honks and screams from the cars behind me. I just sat there and smiled as the light changed from red to green to red to green.
But when I heard an ambulance’s siren approaching from behind me, I saw an opportunity to engage in my own bit of anarchy. I knew that the bicyclists would stop for the ambulance and so I decided to follow it as it crossed the street, forcing the bicycle folks to continue waiting until I crossed the intersection.
They didn’t like it. Not one bit. They cussed at me and they shook their fists at me, as if I were breaking the most sacred of bicycling commandments.
But I didn’t care. Not one bit. I was engaging in my own bit of anarchy and it felt damn good.
I KNOW THOSE riders saw me as an evil representative of everything they hate about our car-based society, and I don’t blame them. But what kind of anarchist – a breaker of rules – are you if you complain that other people won’t obey your rules?
You’re either an anarchist or you’re not.