Today an SUV tried to run me down. No this isn’t a story or an exaggeration and as soon as it was over (it happened so fast) all I was left feeling was pissed off. Let me back up. I was running some things to the mailbox at a shopping plaza about a mile and a half away. When it’s nice out I don’t mind, it’s good exercise and I like physical activity. Since I can’t drive medically, I have walked my entire life, miles and miles to a single destination. When I’m stressed or need air or want to be alone with my thoughts – I walk just like some people take a drive.
But I’m a good walker; I mean I am always courteous and follow the rules. I’m the person who will refuse to cross the street without a “Walk” signal, even if there aren’t any cars around. I’m not on my phone or doing anything except watching the lights and other vehicles that may not be as courteous as me. On the way home from the mailbox, I was waiting at a light at the biggest intersection I encounter on this route. I was waiting for about two minutes because I got there, right as the previous green light was ending. Had I not been me, I could have just ran across the street then, and let a few cars wait on me, but I’m nicer than that. The walk signal came on (like the actual walk signal, not just a green light) and I start to cross. I’m a good ten steps in when suddenly this tan SUV comes right at me. It actually sped up instead of slowing down, and it was going FAST! This is six seconds into my walk signal, ten steps into my trek across the street. This person didn’t just “not see me” or thought they could make it – I was in the middle of their damn vehicle and had I not jumped (like actually jumped) out of the way, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Because the driver would be fucked. I would be fucked. I would be done. I’m 100 pounds soaking wet, and I have a brittle bone disease on top of that. Again, we would have been FUCKED.
After it was over, all I kept thinking was, “Ugh. I wish I had a fucking brick.”
See back in the day (when I was in college, well grad school too) I used to make sure I had a brick on my person whenever I walked anywhere. This might sound like a strange practice, but ever since rough experiences as a teenager including a major assault, I tend to be the “ready for anything” type. In college I lived in an apartment complex that was known for drunken parties. While attending graduate school I lived in Inglewood – seriously I had to carry something on my person. And as much as I have always wanted one, I have never owned a taser. I could never own a firearm; I know enough to know that it would most likely be turned on me, if I had one in the house. Knives can be considered concealed weapons, and I’m not looking for attention from police officers who don’t get the concept of self defense. A brick can be used on a person or a vehicle, so it’s multipurpose, and I do love efficiency.
Would I throw a brick at a vehicle? Yes, most definitely. But only if it came down to me versus the car, I mean the circumstances would have to be right. I would never vandalize any kind of property unless it was about self-defense – I don’t rage, I have that annoying righteous anger. I’ve done it once – the whole throw a brick thing. A (drunk?) frat boy was playing chicken with me while I was trying to cross the street in college. I was twenty. I would stop and wait for him to pass, and he wouldn’t, and then I would try to cross and he would slam on the gas. After doing this four times, I walked until he was close enough and hurled the brick right at him. I cracked that windshield good. And it tickled me. He was all pissy and said he would call the cops, and I just said, “Good, care to tell them how you tried to run me over. I threw the brick to stop you.” Then I used this scared damsel tone, “I was scared for my life officer. He wouldn’t let me cross and then just charged right at me.”
Maybe it was a bitch move, but I think he had it coming. He was a strange guy who was trying to scare me and prevent me from getting home and it was late at night. Seriously, what would you do? I don’t believe in karma. I live my life like I do. I’m nice and do nice things for others, simply because I like doing it. It makes me feel good about myself, and confident about putting good energy out into the universe. And I wish I believed in karma, but I know too many people who do awful, awful things, and it never comes back to them. And since I’m not especially religious, I can’t add, “in this life,” with enough conviction to completely buy it. I’m not in the habit of dishing out karma on my own, but in those rare instances where it is always a case of my safety or the safety of someone I love, I don’t mind helping karma out. (Though I have limits, I could never physically injure a person unless I actually feared for my life, and knowing this makes me feel all right about anything else. Like that’s the line not to cross, and I never want to cross it, so I’m good.)
So, a few hours later, and I’m still irritated and I wished I had done something to send a lasting message, like: When pedestrians have the right of way – stop bitch! Maybe that makes me a petty person, or a vengeful one, or just a bitch. But I have my reasons. This car (almost) running me over wasn’t about me. It was about them, and I’m sure they have done it before and will do it again. What happens when the next time that car does the same thing to a pedestrian who isn’t paying attention or isn’t as quick to react? A lot of people are distracted, their faces buried in their phones while they cross once they know they have a walk signal. What about them? So while I am frustrated, it has nothing to do with revenge and everything to do with sending a loud message so this person doesn’t run someone over next time. Because nothing is a lesson learned like dollars spent and property damage. 😛
Perhaps they would listen to words, perhaps they were having an off day; perhaps a diplomatic solution would be best. Perhaps subtlety is best here. But as my husband always says, “You’re as subtle as a sledgehammer.” Too true, my love. Too true. Perhaps that is just one more reason for this general advisory that could save so many: Don’t fuck with a redhead!