Watch Out!

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

-Jeff Flodin

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One Response to Watch Out!

  1. bethfinke says:

    I know what you mean about the temptation to stay home and brood. I feel oh so fortunate to have chosen writing as a career path,
    – can’t afford to stay home, I might miss a good story!
    Just got back from the National Federation of the Blind convention in Orlando, I was asked to speak to the Writer’s Division on why I think writing is such a good career for those of us who can’t see. You can read more about my Orlando time on my “Safe & Sound” blog:
    http://bethfinke.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/uh-oh-harper-your-summer-vacation-may-be-over-soon/

    I told the audience there that any time a new adventure comes my way, I’m motivated to try it out because you never know, it might make for a good story. My life as a writer has helped me immensely in my life as a person with a disability, the quest for a good story pushes me out the door on days when I am feeling defeated.

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