I’m crossing the street. I have the green light. Parallel traffic buzzes by. Cross traffic crouches, poised to spring. I’ve counted twenty steps. Eight to go. I lean into the wind. I ramp up my pace. And that’s when the voice screams, “Watch out!”
I freeze. Is he yelling at me? What’s happening? Do I venture forth and fall down the manhole? Do I stay put and get crushed by the ComEd transformer? I want to know and I need to know right now because I’m in the middle of the street and the light is going to turn red and those cars are going to knock me down. So, I tap, tap, tap like mad or I yank the dog’s harness or I strain to see what I cannot and I take those frightful steps and I reach the other side.
And my breath comes in gasps and my stomach turns hollow and I put my hands on my knees and lean over just long enough to stop the ringing in my ears but not too long so people will think I’m crazy or drunk or both. Then I reach out with my cane or I tell my dog “Forward” or I squint a little harder and off I go toward the next corner. And I may never know who called “Watch out!” or why or if it was meant for me.
But what I do know is that some days are just too much. It’s a jungle out there, Tarzan. I can either suck it up or sit at home all by myself and brood about how unfair it all is. The choice is mine. I’ve chosen both over the years, so I know