Don't You Dare Cross(walk) Me!

Thursday, May 19, 2016 | 0 Comment(s)

It's still free to park in Easthampton, MA. I see this as a temporary perk that will be short lived as our tucked away hamlet fills itself with more and more quality establishments.

For a itinerant worker such as myself, it isn't the buck I save on parking meters that gets me so excited. It is the relief I feel not having to worry about if I'm going to get a ticket. Personally, I've found that the majority of the times I do receive tickets, I'd put in enough money for the maximum time allowed. I'm not sure if the meter maids get sick of staring at my car during their rounds, or if their route randomly passes my vehicle after 3 hours and 2 minutes -- and by not sure, I mean of fucking course they are -- but either way, I get got. And in truth, the constant fear of a parking violation is much worse than the $10-15 fine.  Most of the time.

Today I went to the local coffee shop to work. Parking was free. Not only was it free, but there were a plethora of spots available. A literal plethora. I chose a spot directly across from my shop of choice, two spots back from the crosswalk. I got out and reflexively walked behind my car to the curb side where a meter will greet me in 5 years. But not today. I opened the passenger door to retrieve my computer and consciously decided to use the crosswalk instead of just darting across the two lane road.  The street wasn't particularly busy, but with parked cars on both sides, it can feel congested and filled with blind spots for both pedestrians and motorists.

A beige station wagon was already speeding toward the crosswalk, and just looking at the guy's face, I instinctively knew he wasn't going to stop.  He could. He had enough time and space. But his face -- the mustache, the shitty knock-off sunglasses -- told me that not only was he cruising through those white lines, he but simultaneously telling himself that he didn't have enough time to stop even if he wanted to.  He had the space. He didn't want to.

Emasculated Sergeant Slaughter didn't disappoint me. I started my way through the crosswalk only after his car's rear wheels cleared the crosswalk. I saw that a young woman was driving the red sedan traveling behind the angryfaced Time to Make the Donuts Guy, but I was mostly focused on getting out of the wind as quickly as possible. I grabbed the briefcase-style handle on my computer case and walked briskly across the street.

As my foot hits the far curb I heard a voice coming from behind me. I turned to see the woman in the red sedan had rolled down her window and now I could see her straight brown hair that she'd dyed blurple on the right side. Like any kid who grew up in a small town,  I initially figured that I must know this person, so I smiled and listened more closely.


This was not a friend of mine.

"Fucking asshole," she muttered less audibly, but, you know, loud enough that I heard it.

I am rarely caught off guard, but as a person who has a BE KIND sticker affixed to the back of his computer, I was shocked by this person's less than subtle insinuation. My mouth hung slightly agape as I took another step toward my destination.

Mercifully, another woman walking along the sidewalk towards me saw the entire happening. She was probably in her late thirties and had the face of a longtime smoker who would not put up with anyone's bullshit. Seeing my mouth hanging open, she spoke.

"What's she want you to thank her for? Obeying the law?"

Yes. That. That exactly. With her honest words my mental lockdown relented. A mixture of laughter and self-righteous anger filled the void in my brain. I overreacted briefly. How dare she! This aggression will not stand, man! 

Eventually, the humor won out. I mean, image my luck to encounter the person who feels vehemently that if a driver is inconvenienced because they are forced to stop rather than bulldozing over the pedestrians walking inside the designated footpath, then that driver has earned a goddamn thank you. At a minimum. I'm still trying to figure out how one would show the maximum amount of pedestrian gratitude. I wonder if there are porn flicks that start out with a guy braking at a crosswalk, and then the woman crossing is so goddamn thankful for his law-abiding kindness that she starts doing him right there in his car. What am I talking about?  Of course there is a porn of it. There's a porn for everything.

Anyways. If I searched out rare people in the same way that a bird-watcher looks for birds or a Pokemon trainer hunts Pokemon (trying to cover all demographics here), then this woman would be an extremely rare Blue-Headed Booby, and I would have recorded a lengthy journal entry about her in my logbook.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

This entire experience has been brought to you by Beats by Dre . . .

Beats by Dre: Helping people ignore the crazy around them since 2008.

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