For those of you that drive, you've experienced the frustration of approaching a red light at night, when no other vehicles are around. You hope that the light will turn green before you have to slow down too much, or worse yet, come to a complete stop. When it doesn't, you stare down both sides of the cross-street, searching for on-coming traffic. Nope, not a single vehicle is in sight. The frustration becomes even more pronounced at the realization that your time is being completely wasted, because a machine that doesn't know better than you do is calling the shots. You then think about breaking the rules and running the light, but we all know that the traffic gods have a cop approaching the intersection somewhere, probably in your blind spot, and that it's probably not a good idea.
You sit patiently yet infuriated at this incredibly unnecessary inconvenience when you notice a car approaching on the cross-street. His traffic light has been green for what seems like an eternity now, and oh what he must think of you as he crosses the intersection, the light from his vehicle glaring off the whiteness of your knuckles as you clutch your steering wheel. You begin to get philosophical. "Why me? Why not him? What did I do to bring myself to this position at this very moment in time?" When you fail to answer those questions, you start to daydream about ramming your vehicle into the street light, knocking them over into power lines, exploding into the most amazing light show on impact, then getting out of your vehicle and smashing each and every one of those traffic lights in with the bat you have hidden under you passenger-side seat.
And as you drift off into the bliss that is such utter mayhem, your light turns green, reminding you why you were daydreaming in the first place, how angry you were just a second ago, and why you of all people were the one that was caught up in that moment of antagonization. You scan the cross-street to make sure the traffic has come to a stop, and when you see no one else having to endure the same nonsense you just experienced, you raise your fist and curse the traffic signal ahead of you when the light, almost reacting to your enraged state, smiles back at you, and turns yellow. You slam the gas pedal down as far as it will go while in a complete verbal tirade and your vehicle screams through the intersection, leaving the evil dancing lights in the distance in your rear view mirror.
You continue to grit your teeth, cursing aloud to yourself as you barrel down the road, daring the lights at the next intersection to pull the same stunt the last ones just did. You think to yourself, that if they so much as even think of it, you'll show them. You have insurance and an airbag, right? You'll slam yourself right into them, fulfilling that dream you had just a second ago in an act of complete delight. You snicker to yourself at the thought, as the memory of that last intersection continues to weigh heavily on your mind.
You finally get home, not really remembering the rest of the drive because you were still so busy being angry. You sit down to dinner with your family. You talk about the street light. A friend stops by. You talk about the street light. Your boss calls you to see if you can come in early tomorrow. You talk about the street light. You tuck your kids into bed. You talk about the street light. Your spouse kisses you goodnight and you say "GDI LEMME GO!" as you continue to think about the street light. On the couch where you'll be sleeping and where your dog visits with you, you talk about the street light. When your dog has had enough, you turn on the television, and talk to Conan O'Brien about the street light, until you pay the street light a visit in your dreams.
You wake up the next morning, and every morning since that night, talking about the experience over and over again. You continue on, even though you find that everyone else has moved on and doesn't care about it anymore. Your family doesn't care about it. Your friends don't care about it. Your bosses, co-workers, parents, cousins, therapists, and fellow WoW players don't care about it. No one but you, and maybe your crazy brother (I had to add a negative reinforcer in there somewhere) care about it.
You have no reason to linger on the subject anymore, but for some reason, even though that's the case, you continue to do so. Heidegger, the great philosopher who heard your rants the night of the incident, would say you lacked presence-at-hand. Most others would just call you crazy. Most others would call you immature. Most others would call you socially retarded. Most others would tell you to stop bringing it up. Most others would tell you to move on. Most others would tell you to let it go.
Oh, and about that light. The reason it was red that whole time? There was a pedestrian walking across the street. He had hit the crosswalk button and the light was giving him a moment to get across. What seemed like an eternity to you, was only a brief passing in time, and there was a good reason for it. There is always a good reason.
Remember that the next time you find yourself driving at night, approaching a red light, with no other vehicles around.