It happens every now and then. I am cruising along the back roads, radio blaring, windows rolled down, reveling in the smell of freshly cut hay and generally feeling like life is GOOD.
And then I come to a red light – an intersection in the middle of nowhere with no one in sight. If I look in all directions, there is absolutely no one around except the cows in the fields and the birds in the trees. We are ALONE.
My heart is pumping. I lick my lips and white-knuckle the steering wheel as I debate the merits of just driving through the damn light. After all, there is no one around to see me. It feels deliciously wrong and therefore tantalizingly right. Most of all, it seems ridiculously compliant to sit at a red light when I am the only driver in sight. Why should I sit there, waiting for an inanimate object to tell me I have permission to proceed?
A wee streak of rebellion against all those rules and expectations about what people are “supposed to do” surges into a rush of adrenaline that finds an outlet in my foot, teasing the gas pedal. Docile compliance in the face of irrelevant rules has always annoyed me to the extreme, yet here I am, waiting for this metal pole with coloured lights to blink me on. Talk about blind obedience to authority!!
But for all that, I find myself torn and the inner voices of the “responsible adult” tug at me. Rules are not meant to be broken; the law is there for your own good, and everyone elses; you should never run a red light; comply. comply, comply. More to the point – “comply and fit in”; disobey and be punished. Renegades are bad; they erode the foundations of society. Obey.
The debate rages on; my foot taps the gas then the brake. The light turns green. The moment and the rebellion are over.