While I have a couple different bus stops I can go to in the morning, I have one I prefer. Sure it’s not as “fancy” as the other bus stops, with their high-falutin’ “enclosures” and their extravagant “posted bus schedules”, but I like it.
All but one little aspect of it, anyway.
You see, this particular bus stop is at a four-way stop.
And already, I’m slightly off the point because “four-way stop” is a misnomer. There may have been a time when the “stop” bit of it was accurate. Or it’s possible that “four-way pause” was already taken.
Maybe “four-way hesitation” was too flip.
As a walking person, as a citizen of the sidewalks, I take offense at the rolling-stop, particularly in a neighborhood with foot traffic, with sidewalks and strollers and children and dogs. On my two feet, I stop, I look, I cross streets quickly as both a safety measure for myself (I am soft, cars are crunchy) and as a courtesy to those safely encased against the elements by glass and metal.
Now if we could get the cars to do it.
Do I sound bitter? I do? Why, it was just the other day that I had a small “Midnight Cowboy” moment.
Raining, the air heavy with pollution particles encased in humidity, I was well into the intersection next to the bus stop when a car pulled up and proceeded to roll through its legal obligation.
Maybe she didn’t see me, me with the blue skirt and the orange umbrella.
“Hey!” I shouted, using the umbrella to soundly whap the front end of her car. “I’m walkin’ here!”
I don’t look like Dustin Hoffman, but I play him in the streets.
She didn’t get out of her car – perhaps the crazed look in my eye as I contemplated both a brief hospital stay and how much psi it would take to break a headlight with a collapsible umbrella made her think twice.
I watched as she pretended to brush her hair from her temple, all the while casually locking the door with her elbow and staring fixedly ahead.
Frankly, I’d have locked it, too.
Of course, for the next five minutes or so, as I waited, I stewed in my little raincoat. How dare she not see me! Twit! Nincompoop! Treader of other people’s toes! And she calls herself a driver?! Driving is a privilege, not a right! I should make a citizen’s arrest! Why I oughta…
And then the bus pulled up. The warm, dry bus.
And I mounted the steps, collapsing my umbrella-cum-car-beater.
And I relaxed.
Until next time, my metal-encapsulated adversary.
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