Pedestrian Encounter

Illustration by Bob AulI'm sorry I almost mowed you down with my car outside the Tuscany Club in Fullerton the other night. I appreciate the fact that, once I came to a jarring halt, you looked me right in the eye and calmly pointed at the blinking red hand at the far side of the intersection, the fingertips of your other hand resting on my fender, and didn't make a huge, angry, self-righteous display before moving on. I realize that a few inches made the difference between a mere scare and a prolonged physical, legal and psychological ordeal for both of us, and I'm relieved fate settled on the former. I also appreciate the fact that you obviously are wise enough, as I am, to trust no one when it comes to crossing the street even when you have the signal, because I didn't see you until only your face appeared above my left fender, and you can bet from the way I stopped that my reflexes were not in question. I was not inebriated and my driving record is perfect, but it's a bummer that no matter how good a driver I happen to be and how good my driving record is, I still have to run the risk of an accident like this because that's the way it is in a place where there ain't no other way to get around, and there isn't a mass transit system worth a damn . . . and lots of folks want to keep it that way. This could have been a true accident, but as accidents go, the cards would've probably been stacked against me legally since I was turning as the light was flashing and you were very definitely in the intersection. I hope you were able to enjoy the rest of your evening once the adrenalin in your system dissipated—I still had a good amount kicking around in mine an hour later.

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