I almost had words with a driver of a dark sedan during this morning’s bike ride through Savannah’s historic district. “Almost” is actually overstating it. I could have had words with this guy if I had a little less self-control.
I was stopping to take a picture on a small cobblestoned street, and a friend pulled her bike over to the opposite side. Along comes asshole in his dark sedan, and he doesn’t like that she’s taking up 18 to 24 inches of space in the right lane. He stops and waits for her to walk the bike entirely out his way before he proceeds. Except she doesn’t, meaning he’ll have to veer ever so lightly into the left lane to pass her. There was plenty of room, trust me.
So he starts in with the expressions. He scrunches his face up to express his contempt for her bike-riding skills. Then he does one of those head-wagging, “tsk-tsk” loud-exhale expressions that says “my God, this woman is beyond pathetic…the people I have to put up with…Jesus!,” etc.
The next “almost” happened in a touristy area near Congress Street. I raised my camera to take a picture of a couple of Clydesdale horses. A woman who was about to walk in front of my viewing path went “oh” and stopped and waited. She was being polite, of course, but I’ve said before that waiting for someone to snap a photo is a mark of middle-class cluelessness about photography. A good photographer has to roll with what happens, and sometimes you can get a better shot if somebody or something is half-obscuring what you’re shooting. You never know, and you’re better off not knowing. I never stop and wait for a picture to be taken…ever.
In any case, I said “thanks…it’s okay…it’s cool” to the woman. But I didn’t say it the right way. She took umbrage and asked if I had an attitude problem. I was just trying to get out of there but just to mess with her head I said “uh, yeah, I guess I do.” She stopped in her tracks. “What’s your problem?” People like you, I wanted to say. People who don’t understand that one of the tenets of mediocre photography is refusing to accept the natural unruliness of life and to just go with what happens when you’re shooting and stop trying to control everything. But instead I said “it’s cool, doesn’t matter” and turned away.