I hate to brag – despite being the possessor of an “innie”, all my own toes, and a bank account numbering in the tens – but I recently saved the life of a stranger.
Or at least a leg.
Look at him. He is staring, this young man, into the face of a device. You know the device. Everyone’s talking about them. You can stare at them and walk into traffic and not miss an update or an invitation to a Happy Hour.
It’s the end of the day, and I am stopped at the cross walk, waiting for the light. I look – as is my wont – in both directions several times. The Nicollet Mall is closed to all but buses and taxis. Because of this, many pedestrians lose their natural-born fear of things much faster than themselves.
But not this gal. Not ol’ Pearl.
The young man across the street, however, seems to have been born without this fear.
I watch from the curb as he approaches from the other side. Brain-deep in his phone, I can see that in the next five, six steps, he’s going to be in the street.
I look up the street in time to see a hard-pedaling bike bearing down.
A bike messenger.
Bike Messenger has the light. There’s no reason for him to stop.
I look forward as Mr. Distracted steps onto Nicollet.
“LOOK OUT!” It’s the loudest I’ve been this year.
The man with the phone looks up. “What?”
Bike man swerves, just a bit, and speeds on. “DUDE!” And then, a moment later, “THANKS, LADY!”
Mr. Distracted says nothing.
But I smile anyway. Because I didn’t do it for the thanks.
I did it because I didn’t want to witness the crash.