All My Fault


Yesterday was kind of a crap day. I’ve been feeling a bit muddled and isolated, despite the clear weather and the fact that I just got back from a fun camping trip with friends. I wasn’t looking forward to biking home in a foggy state, and the traffic home didn’t look inviting. As I exited my office on First street, I noticed that there was a lineup of Muni buses all the way down to the Ferry Building! Nuts.

I hopped on my bike and plodded down Market Street. Around Kearny or so I misjudged the light and ended up cutting through a crosswalk seconds after the light had definitely changed for pedestrians. I tried not to run into anybody, but one 20 something woman was running across and we almost ran into each other. “JESUS CHRIST” she grumbled. Then she made it across to the other side of the street, and unsuccessfully chased after a 5 bus that was pulling away. She turned to me as I biked past her and yelled “This is all your fault!”

I didn’t react immediately like I wish I could have. I’m the type of person who can overreact like crazy to racism/sexism/any sort of ism but I’m slow to respond to any other situation, especially a confrontation. All I could think was “Did she really just say that? What the hell?” Oh and of course my second thought was that she should get a bike if she’s so unsatisfied with Muni :).

I used to get very upset when total strangers got angry with me. For some reason I thought that if someone I didn’t even know got angry at all then I must have actually done something terrible or acted like a bitch (bitchy resting face!!). Then I learned that people are complex, and people are assholes. But most likely  that angry woman just got caught up in her own story. She can tell herself that it was my fault for running the light that she missed her bus. I can tell myself that she was acting crazy and not paying attention to oncoming traffic. What’s true? Who cares? Life (and even reality) is the stories we tell ourselves. It’s a lesson I keep trying to learn.