If you don’t already know it, I drive the absolutely crazy US23 into Ann Arbor every day, hopping on at Lee Road in Brighton. I’m afraid to look up the statistics, but I’m fairly certain it’s one of the most dangerous commute routes in the state of Michigan.

Coffee is my co-pilot. I get in my car, driving out of Brighton Township, and by the time I hit the highway, I’ve already encountered people who refuse to go the speed limit (either side of it), texters, moms yelling at kids, and construction trucks.

Usually, I see myself as calm and fairly centered. But after almost five years, I’ve lost the loving feeling.

And I’m sorry, but if I’ve called you a D***head, it’s partially because I’m not a morning person.

I’m sure, if I were driving in at night, I would be much, much nicer.

Right. Okay.

Today, I had the singular experience of driving in behind Ginger. Someone who knows her and cares wants her to wash her car. I followed her as long as I could. And I talked to her.

“Let’s go, Ginger.”

“Time to accelerate, Ginger.”

“Make sure you make this light, Ginger.”

What if you knew my name? And I knew yours? Would that make a difference?

Would we stop the hostility? Think about the person, rather than the car or the inconvenience?

Just one block after I took this picture – – at a dead stop for construction – – I used my favorite word on a guy who rode the merge lane too long, then failed to recognize the left hand turn lane indicated by the orange pylons.

His infractions were severe: I beeped twice.

But I loved Ginger. I hope she doesn’t wash her car for a long while, if only to irritate the writer.  Maybe we should all write them on our cars, in the mud and the dirt of the road.

What if I knew your name?

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