Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Touching Apples

It's good to be alive.

I don't mean that in a general "My, the air is fresh today!" sense. I mean it in the "I almost got run over just now" sense.

There I am on the streetcorner, a four-way, stop-sign intersection, checking to see if it's safe to step off the curb. There are two cars stopped, one waiting to cross my path directly, and one waiting to left-turn across my path. After waiting a beat to see if either of them is going to take the initiative, I step off onto the street.

As I walk, I see the left-hand turner, a minivan, slowly begin to move into the intersection. He's rolling along like he's just taken his foot off the brake to see where that would get him. I'm used to drivers getting antsy and creeping up on me, so I think nothing of it.

I'm still walking, and the minivan continues to approach. It gets to that point where I'm expecting him to come to a full stop and wait for me to get out of the way, but out of the corner of my eye I SEE THE CAR SPEED UP. He's headed right for me, like he's bowling with one pin left and he wants that spare!

I actually gasp involuntarily and freeze, one arm thrust out protectively, preparing myself for the impact. Then, half-a-second before running me over, he jams on the brakes.

I stare at the windscreen, and then throw a big palms-up WTF? dirty look at him. So what does he do? Now that I'm standing still, he guns it and drives right past me, as I'm standing in the middle of the street, his wheels passing inches from my toes, the side panel of the minivan blurring past my nose.

I throw the palms-up WTF? to the other car that was waiting, and get myself on wobbly legs to the safety of the opposite sidewalk. I've half a mind to sit myself down right there on the ground to collect myself. But I keep going.

I remember that I need to buy apples.

At the grocery store, I find that my hands are shaking. I go to pick up an apple, and I half-expect my hand to silently pass right through it. What do you know? I'm a ghost! I got hit after all and now I'm one of those spirits who doesn't know they're dead.

The Rescue Mediums will have to come to help me find The Light, or I will be stuck here for eternity, trying to pick up apples that I can't touch. Sensitive types will feel an aura of sadness hovering by the Fujis and the Jonagolds. A cold breeze will inexplicably accost shoppers as they pick through the Granny Smiths.

But luckily I found myself still fully embodied. I got some beautiful, sweet apples. It's good to be alive.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Congratulations on that living thing you accomplished this morning. As I get older I swear people just drive like maniacs anymore. OMG is it me? Have I become the little old man driving 15 mph and complaining at people driving the speed limit??? No, I think people are idiots.

jameil1922 said...

that's horrid! i would've gotten his plate and called the police. i love to do that. cortlands are sooo yummy. my dad likes jonagolds, too.

trinity67 said...

Oh I can totally relate - I walk everywhere so I've had a small handful of frighteningly close calls. Occasionally, I've actually had people own up to their mistakes (they cover their mouths and then uncover them and mouth sorry) but still, it scares the crap out of me.

R.E.H. said...

Yeah, you should've gotten the plates. The police wouldn't do much, since you weren't injured - but you could search the registry and pay him a visit with a handy chainsaw by your side.

Then, again. That's easy to say afterward. When it happened, I'm pretty sure your mind was mainly focused on making sure every limb was still attached to your body.

Glad nothing did happen. Enjoy those apples, now!

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: It's not you. Driving in this city has become ridiculous. People are always rushing and distracted - speeding on the way to their next accident.

Jameil: I didn't even think of getting the plates. I was too shocked.
I do love my Jonagolds! :-)

Trinity67: I guess it's a little better when they say "sorry", but once you've run someone down, "oops" doesn't really cut it. Actually, that's why I don't drive. I can't handle the thought of possibly making a permanent mistake.

R.E.H.: Yeah, pretty much. I was stunned beyond the power of thought for a few moments there. Funny that I didn't actually think of getting his plates until I saw the comments on this post!

Karen said...

Some drivers are just insane. Was he/she on the cell phone at the time. That is normally the case.

Mighty Mouse said...

The experience sounds awful. The driver of that minivan must feel pretty powerless when he's not behind the wheel. That being said, it should also be noted that your writing is first rate. I love the bit about picking up the apples. Keep on blogging.

Sparkling Red said...

Karen: Probably - the cell phone or playing with the radio or solving a Rubik's cube...

Mighty Mouse: Thank you. I will. :-)

San said...

I'm glad you're alive, Red. I've witnessed scenarios such as you've described and it doesn't restore my faith in the human race.

Your fleeting apple reverie is wonderful. Since I'm partial to Granny Smiths, I am so grateful that I will not be accosted by an unaccountable cold breeze as I pick and choose. I wouldn't want to have to do the WTF in the apples aisle.

The Ex said...

Walking! I swear pedestrians are like the new communism. We're hunted down like evil rats and threatened with torture for simply going about our business.

I love apples. And living. Go us.

Sparkling Red said...

San: I'm glad that I didn't end up haunting a grocery store. It's open 24 hours, with the lights always blazing. It would be so much less satisfying than haunting an old, creaky house.

The Ex: It's true. I feel many drivers treat pedestrians as annoying pests, even though the bad drivers are the ones polluting the environment with noise and fumes (and obnoxiousness).

Maxie said...

OMGOSH... that's horrible. I'm glad you're okay!

What a weird driver.

Alex said...

No joke, I had almost the exact same situation happen to me at the end of my freshman year of college, except it was the "going straight" car behind the "left-hand-turning" car that thought a human life would be a small price to pay for making the light. I, too, froze and felt the hard whisper of the car as it zoomed inches from my body. Passengers in a totally different car pulled over to check that I was ok.

I felt in a fog the rest of the afternoon.

Oh, and Macintosh are my favorite apples. Like candy in a red skin.

Tink said...

Ok, that's fucked up. Glad you're still among the living. Although I have to say, your imagery of a ghost haunting the apple section gave me a chuckle. I'd like to think if I'd been killed in that situation, I'd go and haunt the jerk who killed me.

Sparkling Red said...

Maxie: Thanks! I hope he's not a neighbour of mine. I'd hate to have a repeat of that experience.

Alex: Mmm... Candy in a red skin. I love it!

Tink: I hadn't even thought of that. He'd really be in trouble with you haunting him. I bet you'd think up lots of good ways to get revenge. ;-)

Jenski said...

Holy cow! That's unnerving. I was not exactly that driver, but felt completely awful the other night. It was dark out, raining, and there was a crosswalk right after I turned left. It was not until I looked in my rear view that I saw a person, dressed in black with dark hair waiting in the crosswalk. I always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, especially if the weather is crappy, but I didn't even see the person. :( [P.S. I was not on the phone or changing the radio station or anything.]

Melinda Zook said...

Wow, I can't believe that guy! Some people are absolutely nuts. You are lucky and hopefully you don't "run into" him again or you will have to give him a piece of your mind (or fist for that matter).

Apples have great calming powers, be sure to eat one daily : )