"I'm trying to get over!"
Wildly gesturing my hands and arms at the driver next to me, I sped up to take the lane. But he would not have it, accelerating right with me.
I was boxed in and needed to get off in the next three-quarters of a mile. There was plenty of space, if I could just get ahead of Big Blue Suburban right next to me.
He obviously wanted to corner me in this lane.
This is the atavistic mentality of freeway driving in metro Atlanta. Predator and prey. Kill or be killed.
And I've learned to live under this maxim.
What the Blue Suburban needed was to be sideswiped off the road. He was trapping me in one lane, probably out of spite.
I had cut him off getting onto the Interstate. He needed it because he was slowing down traffic while he tried to adjust a set of rosary beads hanging from the rear view mirror. I saw it as an opportunity to take the lead. He took my abrupt pass and lane change as a threat, like any good Christian would.
But he had mistaken my motivation. I just wanted to get from point A to B as fast as I could. He was slowing me down. So I passed him.
He followed me for 20 miles, desperately trying to regain position. At one point, he came up on my left side and tried to stare me down. I just shielded my face with my hand, giving him an overt snub.
This must have infuriated him because he slammed his foot down on the gas, shooting his massive suburban straight toward a yellow taxi.
The cab driver saw the enraged driver coming and slammed his brakes.
The Suburban swerved out of the lane and was lost for at least two miles.
I felt some relief wash over me until I tried to change lanes and get off the freeway.
Moving the steering wheel to the right, I looked over and saw his maniacal grin.
It was like the scene out of "Changing Lanes," when Samuel L. Jackson holds up the crow bar as he passes Ben Affleck.
Sweat poured down my neck. In front of me was another Suburban, a red one to my left, a green Yukon. I was surrounded. All of gigantic SUVs were sporting bumper stickers for the radio station The Fish.
I hit my breaks, slowed down and gave up my position. They let me go. In fact, all they wanted was a concession, justice for my rude driving.
Justin Boron is the government and politics reporter for the News-Daily. His column runs Mondays. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .