urban living

living in west philadelphia has its high points and its low points. today, unfortunately, i experienced one of the low points.

after getting up much too early, i threw on some clothes, poked in my contacts, and put the dog on her leash. we left the house and headed south for the park. the first intersection we have to cross is 45th and pine streets – a sporadically busy cross-street. when we got there, a few cars were in the process of trying to scamper off to places unknown. after my foot-spraining incident of december 1, i knew better than to argue with the cars, and just let them go. when the coast was clear, so to speak, the dog and i stepped off the curb, into the crosswalk, and began going through the intersection.

about halfway through, i looked to my right and noticed a dark green minivan bearing down on us. i figured to myself, “well, self, we’re almost through the intersection and they have a stopsign. all is fine.” self is sometimes not very bright. because the woman driving that car (late 60s, with daughter and grandkids in carseats) barely slowed down before gunning it again.

mind you, i was IN FRONT OF the car at this point. DIRECTLY in front of the car.

i screamed a guttural “AHHHHHHHHHH!” at her, and she finally noticed me and slammed on her brakes. it was then that i noticed the sun visor hanging in front of the entire driver’s side of the windshield. all the windows were rolled down, so i screamed a string of curses at her for about 10 seconds – those of you who live in large urban areas know the curses i’m talking about. they involve the f-word, the phrase, “i’m a damn pedestrian and have the f-ing right of way,” and “blind people ought NOT to be driving!”

do you know what she had the nerve to scream to me? do you know?

i didn’t even see you, girl!

um, excuse me, but that’s what the STOP SIGNS are for. i don’t care if you are late taking your daughter to work or your grandkids to daycare or if there is a large piece of car interior hanging in front of your face. if there is a stopsign and there is a pedestrian legally crossing the street WELL BEFORE YOU GET THERE, you had better stop or suffer the wrath of my pre-caffienated, adrenaline-rushed, pissed-off tongue.

of course, i burst into tears about a half block further on, because i was so stressed out. the last time someone did that to me, it was dark out, he was TOTALLY apologetic, and offered to drive me to the hospital (i ended up spraining my foot pretty bad.) this lady just made me so angry – she was so ENTITLED to her road, and screw me for getting in her way.

and then we made it to the park, and the dog sniffed a bunch, and then she played and chased oh-so-nicely with the cute new pup chelsea. and i went to work, and the day got a lot better.