You're stuck in traffic (the really bad kind of traffic).
You're late, of course. You were already running late when you left, but now you are extremely late (the give-up-worrying-about-it kind of late).
That's when you see him. With your peripherals. He enters your life from the right at a blistering 3 MPH, trying to get into the middle lane (yours).
You quickly spring into action, moving your vehicle forward to reduce the space between your front bumper and the rear bumper of the car in front of you. The space shrinks from three feet to a few centimeters. As you do this, a great number of foul words enter your brain at once, mashing into an unintelligible string of highly offensive names, some of which are actually spoken.
You hate this guy.
He slithers along further, looking for a different opening.
But your lane-mates are strong. You couldn't be more proud of them as they pull off the same move you did, filling in the gaps.
It's clear to you that he has been riding in the right lane his entire life, speeding past you and everyone else who waits patiently in traffic like they are supposed to. You don't even need to see the person -- just the car -- as it tries to edge its way into the tiniest crack. You know that he is a guy who cheats and takes any shortcut possible in all aspects of his life.
But today is when you stand against such a villain.
Today is the day that justice prevails.
Your windows are up, but you can almost hear the collective cry of the drivers in front of you as they echo your sentiments. "Not on this day!" you all say as you rally against him, maintaining your gapless strand of vehicles. You pay no heed to the fact that, five or six times, your sudden acceleration to maintain your flank almost causes you to hit the car in front of you.
But who cares that, in stand-still traffic, your pristine driving record is at risk? This is justice we are talking about here! This guy must not be allowed in the lane! If he wanted to get in the lane, he should have done it way back there, like everyone else!
But the thing you're forgetting is that the guy in the right lane is you.
He's you, yesterday.
You were on a stretch of I-95 in Maryland that you had never been on before and you thought you had to get off. And you flew by all the people who were slowly crawling along the Beltway, only to realize that you were wrong. The exit would only take you onto another congested highway, and would add God-knows-how-long to your commute, which is a very long time.
You needed to maneuver your way back onto I-95. You slowed down and looked for a gap in the cars.
There were no gaps. It was seamless.
Desperate, you stopped looking for openings and began looking at the drivers themselves, trying to find a sympathetic face. You wanted to explain to them, "I didn't know! I was just driving along and got very innocently confused. Please help me. Please, please help me and let me in."
You even gave them your "Oopsie" face.
But the drivers were too busy inching their vehicles forward, maintaining the seamlessness, pretending not to see you.
Your desperation turned to anger.
Who were these assholes and how could there be so many of them? How could they all be so callous and unsympathetic? And what was so important that they couldn't possibly afford to allow one mere car-length of additional traveling time stand between them and their destinations?
If you hadn't been so panicked and frustrated, you might have noticed that you, yourself, were one of those links in the impenetrable chain of assholes. It would have been difficult to notice, though, considering you never turned your head to face yourself.
But you were there, inching forward in the name of justice instead of slowing down a little bit, waving your hand, and saying, "Go ahead. I'm you, tomorrow."