Novelist

Novelist
Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Confrontations

From the day of first awareness in this life, we all come to know personal idiosyncrasies but never really think about them. The reason is simple: These things are just what make us who we are. No deep contemplation necessary. Unless high on some mind altering drug, we don’t consider our arms, hands, feet and head because they are just part of the total package, like those little things we do, say or think every day, all the time. But, on occasion, something happens that vaults a quirk front and center—not to be appreciated but questioned as an aberration that, maybe, shouldn’t be. That’s what happened to me this morning. I think I’ll call it an epiphany.

As you may have learned about me, I’m an extremely early riser. After about an hour of editing a manuscript, I developed an urge for a Spanish omelette from my favorite breakfast haunt. So, I stopped working and was on my way by 5:30. It was a pleasant drive; not much traffic that early. In fact there were few vehicles at all on the streets, except at the four-way stop I pulled up to. I rolled to a standstill. A second later, two others did, too—one left of me and one across the intersection. Now, I am aware of the first come, first go rule and then take turns clockwise. But, the other two lurched forward and stopped. That’s when I figured the rules were out the window and it became a game of chicken.

I envisioned Clint Eastwood with that squinty stare chewing on that slimy cigar butt and the theme from “A Fistful of Dollars” playing in the background, checking the eyes of all the shifty bad guys wondering who would draw first.

I had no intention of entering that fray-in-the-making in which one motorist had already honked and the other responded with a double beep. At first, I thought it was humorous, although by the rules of the road, I’m the one that should’ve had the right of way. Eventually, the other two felt their way through and raced on down the street; both obviously angry at the other, judging by rates of acceleration.

I’ve always hated four-way stops because, by nature, I’ll go far out of my way to avoid confrontation, if it is my choice to do so. Why am I that way? It would have been my right to take charge and go on through the intersection but I chose not to. It then occurred to me that I do that all the time and it has very little to do with courtesy. It just doesn’t seem worth the effort. Why wouldn’t being right be worth initiating a confrontation? I listen to people rant all the time about politics, religion or other sensitive subjects that I, too, have strong opinions on but I’ll just smile at them while thinking, “Dumb shit,” and never press a point of my own.

It’s important to note, that although I do not instigate confrontations, I’ve never backed away from one that I did not start and will never. So, it’s not a backbone issue either.

This is a quirk I’ve always known about myself but never pondered the potential consequences of such a mindset, until today. And suddenly this peculiarity has become relevant and important. I now look back at several crossroads in my life that, had I aggressively confronted a person or issue, my lot in life may have turned out markedly different, maybe better.

I think this qualifies as an epiphany.


Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright
Author of
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007
"The Last Radiant Heart"/Virtual Tales/August 2010
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/ ebook available now 2010

1 comment:

  1. Greg..a friend of artist Lance GraySeptember 17, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    "pick your battles"...the epiphany you describe is the seasoning and maturity that , if we are the least introspective, comes with age.

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