Road-Rage Haiku

Aaron Naparstek teaches a novel way to defuse anger in his new book, Honku: The Zen Antidote to Road Rage.

Aaron Naparstek

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I started writing Honku after a near-death egg-throwing experience around Christmas 2001. At the time, I lived in a one-bedroom apartment on a quintessential historic Brooklyn street lined by trees and brownstones with big front stoops. Thanks to defects in traffic-signal timing and the brains of New York City motorists, there had always been a lot of horn honking in front of my building. But this one day it got to be too much.

Some jerk in a crappy blue sedan had decided to let loose with a continuous, nonstop blast directly beneath my window. As the honk persisted, I felt my chest tighten and my reptilian fight-or-flight response kick in. I looked outside to see what the problem was. Not only was there no emergency, the traffic light in front of him was red!

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