Friday, January 16, 2015

what can you do when fate starts stalking you?

getting hit in a crosswalk, could happen to anybody. i'm glad to have lived to tell the tale. needless to say, i've been a super-conscious pedestrian. and then, two hours ago, a guy in giant 4-wheel drive, the kind with huge wheels, ran a red light and almost caught me on the busiest corner in town.

i'd just come out of Peet's coffee shop at main and 2nd. distracted by several high school kids behind me, i stepped off the curb, the walk sign up. and whoosh, the lumbering truck missed me by less than a foot. the kids looked at me. i must have been white as a sheet. "are you okay?" i said yes and avoided telling them my almost tragic. previous story. 

needless to say, as i walked home, i re-played lying in the crosswalk last month, emt's cutting my clothes off, half-a-dozen stopped headlights blazing across me. i stopped by the university library and caught my breath with a friend. further on, i suggested to the campus police they post the fine on the no bike, no skateboards sign: $160. maybe money will talk.

the reason they have the rule: a pedestrian killed on the bridge by the natural sciences building. and perhaps it will take another to get the budget for it. like every part of campus, the police strapped for funds and sixteen thousand students flowing in over the weekend. a bicycle whizzing by me makes my skin crawl.

yes, 34 years in town, rode my bike at night without lights, ran stop-signs, i'm no innocent, just lucky. and after a fall ten years ago, i simply stopped riding, unable to trust my own sense of self-preservation. recent events prove this a wise choice. if only walking were safer! and am i the target of some greater force?

sometimes paranoia is the proper attitude. in this case it did provide an epiphany. i'd been trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. learn interior decorating, go ballroom dancing, read poetry in public. everything i thought of seemed like work. and my doctor had said, "simply enjoy yourself." and that's what i thought as i walked away from the potential, funereal scene in front of Peet's, exactly where i'd told a friend a couple years ago, 'i'd like a memorial bench on that spot.' 

i have been photographing and here a couple of posts:

Poet with a camera:

Monca photographers at work: