It’s what I’ve had think, at times, to protect myself against during the past week, especially on the crowded sidewalks of New York City. With the incision a couple of inches above my navel, it’s in prime position to be elbowed, or otherwise accidentally bumped into. But the once in a while split-second thought of “don’t bump into me,” was enough to remind myself that it’s me who has all the bump-avoidance control.
And that goes for much of the running through life stuff that most of us do. Many times we don’t simply think “you’re in my way.” We yell it out. Whether its filing law suits or honking our car horns, if we feel someone is in our claimed space, we rationalize our rights not to be bumped into. We humans are at no loss for manifesting the ways we say, ‘don’t elbow me man.’
The week prior to this hernia operation, I took a spin on my bike up into New York State, crossing the GW bridge into New Jersey first. Getting off the bridge bikeway into Jersey there is a small ramp built into the sidewalk for the ease of bicyclists getting on and off. When I arrived at the ramp, there was a group of cyclist stopped in the middle the ramp, blocking it. I slowed down, waited while I could without unclipping, and then said “yo, guys, bad place to stop.” After they moved and I continued on, I thought I could have just as easily jumped the curb and not been an ass. Perhaps I was in their way. Regardless, I could have bypassed the congestion and made my own way without thinking they were in my way. It was my form of saying ‘don’t elbow me’ or ‘you are in my space.’
Car drivers are notorious for claiming others are in their way. We can be nice humans, then get into a car that comes with a spatial claim. Then we liberally use the horn to shout out in car language. I’m not talking about accident avoidance, rather a this-is-my-space honk.
A lot of what’s mobile on this earth, including its six billion inhabitants, is fluid. Nothing moves in a straight line except a beam of light and even that gets bumped into. With the gazillions of atoms that each of us is made of, we are bound to get in each others way.
The point is, if more of us would take a tolerance pill in the morning, washed down with a glass of vision juice, we’d be able to easily avoid the accidental bump. We’d put less energy into the need of thinking “don’t bump into me man.”