I needed to take a right on 28th to get home for the night. Car on my right was sleepily trailing me, lingering in my blind spot. This is problem #1 right here in Portland, this timid chugging along, mindless, probably on phones. The alertness you find in other cities, or maybe other times, is gone. Annoyed, I put on my breaks to let him pass. I did see you in my mirror. There was a good amount of space to be had. I merged. I attempted to merge. Suddenly there you were, all up in my shit. Fuck! I thought. Your honk was an outcry of territorial aggression. I yank back to the left. Tensions flared, adrenaline pumping. I'm pissed. You're pissed. Your silver car glides angrily past and I prepare to shoot eye death at such a stupid motherfu-oh, a girl! An attractive girl! But personal attraction matters nothing in the battle between car and person. You've already got it waiting. Like a gun from the holster, it fires. But I'm there. I've worked on my middle finger all my life. I believe it to be, possibly, a work of art. Or at least an efficient statement of my discontent. However, rarely do others communicate back. And of course the Nancys in this town wouldn't. They shy away. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," they seem to say, like a sick dog sulking off to die. But you didn't just respond, you initiated on your own accord. In that moment, the idea of the middle finger was transformed for me. No longer a one-sided conversation, the act now has the possibility to be almost dialectical. You and I understand the basic necessity for quickness and a vigilant mind. We are not weak. We make our voices heard.