Sometimes it’s not the other drivers who are the problem during the morning and evening commute.
As the weather warms (ever so slowly), there are now bicycles and pedestrians.
On my way home from work yesterday, I was sitting in a line of traffic at a red light in the northeast corner of our fair city. Not an especially good neighborhood, but not one where I expect to be accosted, either. Mine was the second vehicle back from the light, behind some kind of utility panel van. A group of young people (I would guess high schoolers) came walking down the street, and it appeared they were thinking about crossing between vehicles, so I made sure my foot was on the brake and I made eye contact. One of the young males then stepped between my vehicle and the one in front of me and walked to the next lane as if he was checking oncoming traffic. He made a show of peeking around the van in front of me and then turned to return to his friends. As he got back in front of my car (my foot was still firmly on that brake!), he deliberately threw himself against the right front bumper of my car and yelled “OWWWW!” – as if to make people think I had hit him. His friends laughed. He laughed and did a little jig. They all went on their way down the sidewalk.
The light changed. I drove on home.
Hopefully that’s the end of it. But there’s that nervous little twitter at the back of my mind insisting it was a ploy so that the young gentleman can later claim I did, in fact, hit him – and didn’t stop. It would have been very easy for his friends to take my license plate number. It would be my word against theirs, even though there are no marks on my vehicle (and probably no marks on the kid, unless he banged my car harder than I think he did.) It’s a predominantly black neighborhood, the kids were black, and I’m an old white lady driving a mid-sized SUV. Black kids or white kids – there’s a joker in every group, but there’s also a crackpot in every group. Should I be worried? Only time will tell.
It was a unsettling end to an otherwise peaceful four-day workweek.
TGIF, folks. Hope your evening commute is uneventful!
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom