Crosswalks are sacred spaces for me, and I shouldn’t share them with cars. Coincidentally, there are laws stating as much.
Yet, inevitably, as I step into the crosswalk, there is some yahoo who wants to race his car across my sacred space.
When this happens, I like to imagine all the fiendish things I could do to his car.
I imagine popping his tires with a swift kick. But I discard that thought as I imagine using my dying breath to tell the ER nurses: “I got that stinkin’ sidewinder!”
Other times I simply fantasize about screaming a few choice blessings that contain references to fiery eternal places.
But the best fantasy I have is where I imagine dowsing the passing car with the remainder of my morning beverage. I’ve imagined this scenario so many times, the idea consumes me.
Recently, I approached the crosswalk with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand. A determination came over me that this would be the day. If a car happened into my space, it was going to get a pin striping of hot chocolate.
I’m embarrassed to tell you how much glee filled my heart as I watched a nice white BMW approaching my field of fire. I could hear the engine rev as I readied my hot chocolate.
There were only a few remaining ounces, but it wasn’t the watery stuff you get from the gas station. The bottom of this cup was filled with the funky looking sludge at the bottom of a good chocolate brew.
As the woman came into my cocoa crosshairs, I was asking myself, am I finally going to live my fantasy? Will I go cuckoo with my cocoa?
I locked eyes with the driver in wanton vengeance as she penetrated my line in the asphalt. She’s asking for it, I told myself. She passed within inches of my feet.
I was prepared to fire, but I felt my wrist stutter with reluctance.
Uh, oh. Too late. I had target lock and fired.
Yet, even as I walked into the hospital, I knew I’d be writing this confessional story because I knew the rage I’d been holding inside about crosswalk runners was indicative of how many of us handle the things that bother us.
Instead of speaking up the first time something bothers us, we wait. We wait because we think waiting is a spiritual thing. We quote the sacred teachings about turning the other cheek.
When that doesn’t work, we keep turning cheeks, all the while waiting and quietly raging, until we’re ready to give the object of our rage a view of our more southern cheeks — or in my case the southern end of my drudge cup.
The problem with this kind of waiting is it gives people the full force of the feelings we’ve collected. The problem with trying to spill out all those old feelings is it never amounts to anything constructive or helpful.
Ask me, I know.
The direct hit wasn’t on the car. It was on me.
For, you see, I’d forgotten I had one of those sipping cup lids. With the flick of my wrist, I had hurled the chocolate toward the closed lid and it stopped short of the small hole.
The result was a splash-back tsunami. I returned to my office wearing my own drudge.