About seven months ago I posted a piece called Rage , concerning a not very good day I had been having that culminated with some crazy-ass woman chasing me into the parking lot of Kohl’s department store in an intense road rage. If you follow this blog and don’t remember it, you can click back on the link above or here for the backstory.
Her hard face, clenched jaw and set of her mouth, the tight headscarf she was wearing, her shaking fist – all of those images remain sharp in my memory. But mostly it was the massive, rolling wave of prickly, negative energy she was sending out which I recall the most. Over the past year it has become just one more story in the small repertoire of road rage incidents I have encountered over the years, those scary, crazy people you hope to never run into again.
The other day I had lunch with my old friend Kim. Afterwards we ran errands and she needed to go to Kohl’s. We had just walked through the doors when suddenly this blasting force of determined woman with an invisible cloud of intensity around her came striding forcefully into the store and charged past us. She appeared on some kind of mission she was not to be deterred from, in her tight headscarf, clenched jaw and angry face. I turned to my friend Kim and said “Oh my God, that’s HER, the Road Rage Woman!!!.” Back in Kohl’s again. What were the odds? Kim noted immediately the crazy not-very-good energy of the woman. “Whoa, that’s some high voltage!” she said as we moved quickly away from her, peering from behind a rack of clothes to spy as she headed into the children’s section and furtively started picking up items.
Staring at her face I wondered, was it the same person? I recalled that in her vitriolic spew months ago she kept mentioning “What if I had had children in the car?” and there she was in the children’s section. Perhaps a further clue, or maybe just circumstantial. If you had put her in a lineup I would have picked her out of a crowd without hesitation. I wondered if she would remember my face from that day. She had been so focused and angry at me, and I have sort of a distinctive look myself – I almost expected her to glare at me, or accost me. But if she did recognize me, she ignored me.
I fought the sudden urge to walk up to her and say “Do you have a large, black SUV?” and then when she said “Yes, why?” I would tell her off, saying all the clever things I had wished I had said to her that day in hindsight.
We lost sight of her while we shopped and forgot about her, until Kim got to the check out and the intense woman stepped in line behind her. I don’t know why, but I suddenly, surreptitiously snapped a photo of her on my cell phone. Looking back at the photo, I have a feeling the woman may have suspected I had done that.
When we got out to Kim’s car, we decided to wait out in the parking lot and see if the woman got into a big, black, mean-looking SUV. Then I would know for sure it was her. She exited the store shortly after us and we circled around the lot like a couple of teenage spies. I can’t believe we are doing this, we are laughing, but we are doing this.
But wait! The angry-looking woman strode past all the black SUV’s in the lot and got into a friendly-looking blue Subaru Forester. “Maybe she got a new car”, Kim said. “Or maybe she is driving a different car today”.
I looked back on my phone at the photo I had taken of the woman. Was she actually the same one? She certainly looked a bit older than the woman who had accosted me last September, although she had been a screaming person inside a car, determining age was difficult. I laughed again when Kim suggested maybe this was actually the Mother of the Road Rage Woman. I couldn’t tell if she had tattooed arm sleeves because she was wearing a long sleeved jacket.
Are there that many angry-looking women with clenched teeth and tight headscarves with in incredible force-field of negative energy that frequent Kohl’s? Or was this perhaps only some iron-willed lady out on a mission to grab some children’s clothes on sale for her grandchildren? As I had mentioned, I would have picked her out of a police line-up. But I might have been wrong! Or it might definitely have been her! Anything is possible. I mused over the fact that I had already sent this woman to my own private mind-jail and maybe she didn’t even do it. It’s all moot anyway, but thinking about that sort of thing on a grander scale is a little unsettling.
I hope I don’t run into her again, because she will probably recognize me as that weird woman that peered at her from behind a wrack of clothes and snapped her picture in the department store.
Sounds very “Walmart-ish” except for the Subaru, which everyone here drives.