Monday, May 06, 2002

I wish I had time to blog, but sadly I don't. I'll leave you with two random scenes featuring people I'll never meet.

Shouting Man and Running Girl.
She had probably just learned how to run, and she ran ahead of her father with a laughing, staggering toddler run along the sidewalk of a busy street in her navy blue dress with white buttons. Her father, with a large, lazy dog on the end of a leash, suddenly seemed to realize that she had put more than a comfortable distance between him and her. He yelled out, "Stop!" but she laughed and staggered her way toward an intersection streaming with cars. "STOP!" he shouted, in a commanding father voice, but it was like trying to hold water in your fist and demand that it stay there. He broke into a frantic run with lumbering lazy dog on the leash behind him, and the little girl scampered straight out into the street without a moment's hesitation at the curb. He caught up with her on the other side of the street, scooped her up under his arm, ("He's going to spank her," I thought, in a detached sort of way.) and WHACK, he dispensed fear, frustration, annoyance, and helplessness in one swift motion.

Old Lady in My Lane.
She had no idea it wasn't a turn lane when she crossed the double yellow lines and turned her car into my car's path head-on. In the split second before I veered to avoid her, I saw that the car was driven by a tiny, white-haired woman who kept a crucifix suspended from her rear-view mirror above the dusty, cracked dashboard. Headed toward me, it would probably have been all right with her if the crash ended a long life of religion and dusty cars, sending her into a soul-first tumble upward toward heaven. With my tiny baby in the back seat and quite a bit more to lose, I leaned on the horn and swerved with a vengance. She looked at me coldly and indicated with her finger, I need to turn here, to go there. To her, my lane was the left-turn lane and I was the maniac driver.

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