I've often wondered in disgusted awe at the fact - it is a fact - that most mornings, the first words to breach my lips are curses I toss at strangers. Someone merges into my lane: "Fuckingcocksucher." Someone won't let me merge by driving at just the wrong speed: "pieceashitdouchebag." Then, I am slightly shocked at the possession that has passed, as if I had just thrown up green on myself and came to my senses with a religious icon sticking out of my sphincter.
It took a cartoon character to make me laugh myself out of shame - Calvin. I had made the gauntlet from the Cross Island over the Grand Central and onto the exit ramp into Astoria - stopped - behind a big red van with a Calvin sticker on its rear window. I'm angry in my usual morning way and there he is, transparent and perfect, giving me an exaggeratedly large middle finger while pissing on nothing. The finger was made larger so that it appeared to be projecting directly into my face: Calvin meant fuck ME, not the guy in the car next to me, not the world that forces him to ride the big red van until seasons strip him off...fuck me. And peeing - the splash made it seem like he was peeing on the van itself. So fuck his driver too? Piss on him?
The light was long and with the delay of drivers slow to get their asses moving at the green, I had just enough time to realize, yes, fuck me, piss on you, we are all the same asshole getting off the Grand Central. And there was a comfort, a peace even, in this new brotherhood of fuck everybody.
That and my coffee had finally kicked in. No, nothing so permanent as epiphany. I would rise again the next morrow to spit curses at my fellow commuters - spit that would splash back off the inside of my own windshield right into my face.