I saw you at the end of my five-mile jog today along the West Side Highway. I was heading south, about to turn onto 56th Street, and I heard an ungodly train horn coming from the traffic waiting to turn left off the highway. I was deep into Ira Glass talking about being a child magician, yet the sound of this vehicle modification cut right through his anecdotes in my headphones. I looked over and saw you in your silver midsize SUV, unhappy with the speed at which the car in front of you was turning. Once that car cleared you punched the gas and I had the chance to hear your modified muffler as well, drowning out Ira’s old neighbor telling him how good he was at magic when he was ten.
Shortly after you turned onto that block, I turned behind you. I will reiterate that I was at the end of a five-mile jog, yet somehow I managed to catch up to you. Red lights. They’ll get you every time. I got to the end of the block just as you were gunning it at the light to go to the next avenue. I caught up to you again there as you wasted more gas racing to what I assume was another red light, but I turned down that avenue so I didn’t have the chance to catch up to you again.
I’m writing this open letter to you, sir–I didn’t actually see who was behind the wheel, but let’s face it, you’re a man right? I’ve probably spent the last 25 years judging drivers on a daily basis, and not once have I seen a person driving like you who identified as female. I would in fact bet all the money I’ve ever seen that you are a man. I’m writing this open letter, sir, to tell you that I sympathize with your feelings of impotence. Please note I sympathize, but I do not empathize. I feel bad for your situation, but I don’t feel your situation. While we’re both men, I’ve never had to prove that fact to anyone. I don’t care if they know it. I let my merits and demerits speak for themselves, and they have little to nothing to do with my gender. However, men like you throw a lot of baggage into that gender. I feel sympathy for your situation, your feeling that no one listens to you, that you have no control in your own life, because it causes a problem for all of us who identify as men. And boys. Probably especially boys, because they see men like you punching a door that’s been closed in your face, shouting at it to open, and rather than trying the knob or asking someone to open the door, they punch and they shout too. Have you ever considered that you aren’t listened to because you don’t listen? Do you stop and listen when people are shouting into the wind? Do you ever stop trying to prove yourself? Isn’t it just exhausting?
Anyway, your train horn and your muffler sound stupid and I will never understand spending money on that and I guess you’re not happy about the size of your penis. Sorry ‘bout it.
Some sweaty guy with nothing to prove