So, um, no one told me rage was a major side effect of quitting smoking.
I am not doing so well.
At times, unhinged, you might say.
The other day - this was three days after my last cigarette - this is what happened, I am ashamed to report:
Driving in Yorkville.
Below the speed limit.
There are dirty snowbanks and illegally parked cars, both of which conspire to leave little room for driving and little to no ability to see what's coming at you from the left or right.
As I am approaching a crosswalk, a woman walks out from behind a parked van, setting foot on the street - not even on the crosswalk but five feet away from it - as I am driving past.
She starts wildly flapping her arms, and I can tell she is trying to tell me I have done something wrong.
What I see in my unstable state is someone who feels she should be able to cross the street whenever she wants, and that the rest of the world should anticipate it.
To me, the look on her face says: "How dare there be moving cars when I want to cross the street!"
She is dressed in cashmere and high-heel boots that have her wobbling like a drunk. Most of her face looks pinched with Botox, and the rest of it is covered by huge sunglasses.
So, instead of ignoring her, I punch the brakes - blocking her path - roll down the window, and bark: "What the #^&$ is your problem?"
"It's a crosswalk," she says.
"I can see that," I say, my voice increasing in volume with each word. "So why didn't you press the button over there that lights up the crosswalk signs?"
Now I am yelling.
Amazingly, she says, "There's no button."
I scream, "Yes there is. Look. Look right behind you."
Still in denial she says, "There is no button!"
"What are you, $%^&#*& stupid?" I bark.
The woman totters on, leaving me red in the face, enraged at her arrogance.
I roll down the window even more, so I can lean out, take a deep breath and scream:
Then I notice everyone on the street has stopped walking. They are all looking at me.
A few seconds later, I figure out that I have totally lost it.
But hey, after quitting cold Thursday, I still haven't had a cigarette.