Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chasing Cars (by Katie Malkovsky)

(Kate says: I was told I could use this for my zine. I had to share - this is not only a really crazy story, but it's really well written. Everyone should get treated at some point to one of Katie's open letters on Facebook. They're always a good read. And this one, well, it's an object lesson.)

Toronto drivers, we need to talk.

You are all insane. But I suppose that's a generalization. Rather, a few of you are insane, which gives the rest of you a bad name. But those few who are insane are completely off their rocker.

If you decide to make a U-Turn directly in front of a "no U-Turn" sign, and almost hit me on my bike, I think it a little strange to blame me for being in the way. I think it's even more strange to yell out the window about what a stupid bitch I am for not having a light on my bike. I thought I was set with my flashing red LED, my reflectors, and my helmet with reflective stripes, yet apparently all of these things only work to make me invisible. I'm sorry. I hadn't realized.

Ah, but you didn't leave it there, Toronto Driver. I'm not sure exactly what you hoped to accomplish by following me and intentionally cutting me off and trying to run me off the road, all the while screaming about my missing light. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you weren't trying to look like a complete psycho, so I suppose I should commend you for making psychosis look effortless. Three cheers for you, T.D.

Though you proved yourself to be unquestionably crazy when you pulled up ahead and over to the side of the road, waited for me to pass you, and then opened your door, hoping to hit me with it.

I have to admit, I was relieved when you finally stopped following me and just drove away, but not before you leaned out the window and screamed that I'm a "stupid fucking cunt." I think you should know that I found this insulting, though not for the reasons you may think.

I don't mind being called a cunt. I do mind that you immediately reached for a gendered insult. I couldn't just be the annoying cyclist, could I? No, I had to be the annoying *female* cyclist; the "stupid-fucking-cunt." You seem to have a deep hatred of women, Toronto Driver.

And at the end of the day, T.D., you have to know you really blew it. I'm a pretty damn responsible cyclist; one of the few who doesn't run red lights or stop signs, and I actually signal when I turn. I cause no inconvenience to you as you drive, and I like to think that my pollution-free cycling makes you breathe a little easier in this smog-filled city. As for what you can do for me, Toronto Driver? I know I'll breathe easier once you've had your license suspended, though I know this will probably happen after you hit or kill someone with your car. You're on a dangerous path, T.D.

And, just for you:

- Katie Malkovsky (check her out on MySpace, here)

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