I saw him coming. Saw a flash of red through the leafy gaps in the trees. A red SUV, speeding down his gravel road, across his private bridge, onto the blacktop a scant twenty feet in front of me. I was so close that I saw the whites of his eyes through his open window as they widened in surprise, just before his vehicle cut me off.
I hit the anti-lock brakes. My foot had been hovering over the pedal since I saw his colors flash. Just in case.
He sped up. And put his left arm out the window, palm up. A supplicating gesture, much like the one Caesar the chimp used with his human movie daddy, James Franco, in Rise of Planet of the Apes, to ask permission to run amok in the giant redwoods. My road-darter used it to show submission. He knew I was in the right. He had wronged me. It was a sorry of sorts, at 30 mph.
I accepted his moving apology. Kept my distance. Did not shake my fist, throw up my hands, or curse the day he was conceived. Because he acknowledged his mistake.
Today I pulled out of my own gravel road onto the blacktop, about a hundred feet in front of a moving car. I did not extend my arm. I was not sorry.
I did not dare look in the mirror.