Eyes in the bushes
And issues of space / time
I popped by the shop to see what kind of antics the crew had gotten into. I found Ron out back having a smoke and coffee.
“There he is, Mr. Facebock Famous,” chortled Ron, “How was the road rager - you survived?”
“What the hell dude? Yeah, I had an ‘encounter with a phallus’, but how did you know?”
“You’re blowing up on the Tawney Park Facebock page, someone recorded it all from the bushes.”
My phone started vibrating. It was my sister. I called her right away.
“No, I’m not hurt. I’m fine. Yes, I’ll look at the comments. I’ve been fine for hours. I left this behind. This is creepy. Let me call you back later.”
I turned quickly back to Ron.
“What the hell? Show me the video.”
In the video, I saw a full on replay of the conflict I had with Mr. Porsche driver first thing that morning.
“The comments seem to mostly be in your favour bud.”
That was small comfort. I wanted neither comments about me nor a video to exist on a ‘community Facebock page’ that I wasn’t any part of.
“Most of the comments were supportive, but Judge Mitchel’s wife didn’t seem impressed. What happened?”
“Narrow road. I took space. Then some dude comes out of nowhere and starts beeping and yelling…”
“And then you egged him on?”
“I can confirm. There was mockery involved. That Mitchel lady does not like bikes.”
“Yeah. She’s been at every regional council meeting complaining about bike lanes.”
“Might makes right, when it comes to her. I just can’t believe that someone recorded the whole thing. The guy was a coked up douche.”
“Having things recorded can be helpful when you’re dealing with a coked up douche. I’m just glad he didn’t run you over. From the looks of things, he was barely holding back.”
“I’m just so tired of fighting for space all the time. But what the hell was that dude doing in the bushes?”
That question spun in my head. Who records people on the street? How did this belong as community knowledge? What would it have been like growing up in a time where everyone had a camera and broadcast capabilities in their pockets?
People I knew found out I was in a conflict. It was a petty one. And it didn’t rattle me a bit. Some I knew however were rattled seeing me there and were concerned about me. I felt ashamed that I stood up to the bully in the car. I felt ashamed that others were worried - so much so I wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there.
I realized that there were more terrifying things in the neighbourhood than coked up SUV drivers. The nosey parkers hiding in the bushes with their cameras were hunting for gossip to spice up their comfortable lives. Their judgement and gossip, though mostly in my favour, could turn on a dime. I was free from their scorn. This time.
“Well, I stopped by to see if you wanted to ride after work, I’m not much in the mood for that now.”
“Well bud, you know what they say when it comes to bikes: Fall off, get back on. Let’s get spinning.” Ron finished his smoke. We went thorough the usual procedures then rolled on out into the good night, our heads on a swivel, looking out for angry men driving Porsches.