One of my coworkers was hit by a taxicab this morning while waiting for the bus. Thankfully, she suffered a few cuts and bruises and was sent home for a few days on doctor's orders. Cuts and bruises...after she went airborne.
This news really freaked me out. Not just because Ann works just steps away from me, is a great coffee buddy, and is completely awesome, but because - perhaps more obviously - this could easily have happened to me.
In my three years in the city (which reminds me, today is the anniversary of my move), I have become hardened to the ways of the lawful pedestrian. I walk everywhere, and in doing so I constantly disregard crosswalk instructions - if there are no cars in sight, I'll cross before seeing the white walk light. I'm an ace jaywalker. I weave between cars stalled at a busy intersection. I brag that I can move faster than it takes a driver to make a decision. I don't have time to be bothered with waiting.
On the other hand, I have nearly been hit following foot-traffic rules. I've thrown muffins at cars turning into my crosswalk when I have the signal. I've tapped on impatient car hoods with my water bottle. I've even swatted a bumper with my closed umbrella when the driver narrowly missed me. Drivers piss me off sometimes.
But Ann was just waiting for a bus. I do this everyday - sometimes more than twice a day. I can't imagine what it must have been like this morning, waiting at a crowded stop with the wind and the rain pissing everyone off, then to have some jackass cabdriver plow into you. Worst thing that happened to me this morning was having my umbrella curl up and fall apart in the wind. Oh well, it was a gift from the bank.
I've resolved to be more careful. Be present in the mundane action of walking down the street so that I can anticipate errant cars and suspicious characters. Turn my I-Pod down a little so I know what's going on. Time to be a cautious midwesterner.
So there's that,