PT Cruiser of Death

Heat radiating off the car’s bumper warmed my calf as the PT Cruiser pulled to a stop, two inches from my body. I stepped up onto the curb with my heart in my throat, but curiously calm otherwise. Seconds ago as I had entered the crosswalk zone between the store and the parking lot in front of Office Max, I had noted the red Cruiser about thirty yards away approaching the stop sign between us. Plenty of time, I reckoned. I was halfway through the crosswalk when I registered the sound of acceleration, instead of braking, to my right. With the reflexes of a sloth, I continued ambling across the road, with the uncomfortable inkling that something bad might be about to happen. Then, the whispering hiss as the cruiser slowed and stopped, just in time. If the driver hadn’t braked when he had, I would have been in the dead center of his grill when he hit me. I glanced at his face. He was an elderly man, with unkempt gray curls, his skin in folds around his mouth, and eyes that asked some kind of irritated question: “What the hell are you doing there?” Or, “Where the hell was the brake a minute ago?” Or “Who the hell am I and where am I going?” I was rattled, but for some reason felt a comment was necessary. Pointing from the safety of the curb, I gently but firmly stated, “Sir, there is a stop sign right there.” Like that was the problem.  I am sure he did see the sign. No, it was the old, “hit the gas instead of the brake,” situation.

We should eat right, exercise, and otherwise take care of our bodies, but obsessing over our physical health is no guarantee of either long or healthy lives. You never know when that Cruiser with your name on it is headed your way.

Thanks for reading! ♥

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