Aluminium Foot

Like most who work outside the home, I spend a fair amount of time commuting, something around 200 days per year. Even without my other reasons for paying close attention to automobiles, I get plenty of opportunity to observe how others drive. Being the (possibly neurotically) introspective type, I compare their driving to my own. One of the differences I’ve noted: I’m first off the line and last on the line.

I have quick reflexes, pay attention to the signals, and want to get where I’m going as fast as possible. So as soon as the light turns green (presuming it’s safe to go), I go. But I also try to drive efficiently. So I avoid hard acceleration and use compression braking as much as possible.

A green mini-van driven by a “soccer mom” was in the lane next to me today. At each signal I would leave right when the light changed only to be passed by her a few seconds later. Apparently she didn’t know when the light changed but then floored it, only to stand on the brakes at the next light. I don’t care for that approach to driving or to life.

I try to keep my life the same: minimize the highs and the lows. Like many with fair complexion I have a robust fight-or-flight reflex. All by myself I naturally experience a fair amount of emotional dynamic range. So it’s in my best interest to limit the external amplification as much as possible.

That is not to say that there is never a time for acceleration or animus. Or in the vein of the James Dalton: be mellow until it’s time to not be mellow.


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