Monday night. I hear — via Pragertopia — Dennis Prager from that day’s show talk about what a low-life the hit-and-run driver is. He talks about the death of the American Idol hopeful Alexis Cohen.
It’s 9:45 pm Tuesday. I’m carrying ten books, a bag full of stuff and my yoga mat. I’m on the south-west corner of Pickford and Robertson. The lights change and the "walk" signal comes on. I cross to the east.
I notice the SUV on Pickford. It turns into me. I run to avoid it. It is coming right at me.
I yell, "What the f—!"
(Just imagine if the last word to pass my lips was the f-word. Typical! Oy, what about the children? Hmm, mustn’t grumble.)
The SUV swerves into the second lane of the north-bound traffic and just misses me.
"What an asshole!" says the man sitting in his car on Robertson north-bound waiting at the red light.
As any regular reader of this blog knows, I don’t like to talk about myself, but it would be remiss of me not to point out that is a jolly good thing I carry my erudition so lightly or else worldwide Jewry would be declaring a fast day Wednesday night to atone for their sins towards me, the Jesus Christ of my generation.
Many Los Angeles drivers are terrible about these things. Many times crossing a street in these instances I’ve had to jump out of the way. Other times I’ve pounded on cars that have pulled into the pedestrian crosswalk without any consideration for me, the greatest writer of my generation, who’s trying to walk across while thinking lofty thoughts.
Part of the problem is that I am very proud and eager to seize my rights to cross and I put myself in harms way. I need to rein in my ego and practice defensive walking.
I’m an angry driver. When people violate my rights, I curse them out and throw up my hands in annoyance.
Perhaps there are lessons here for me. Perhaps I need to remember what a terrible driver I am and have more compassion for my fellow drivers. Perhaps I need to stop insisting on my rights as a pedestrian and stop thrusting myself in front of oncoming traffic. Perhaps I need to let go of my need to be right and to berate those who are wrong. Perhaps I’ll end up dead if I don’t change my ways. Perhaps the time to change is now.
PS. Tuesday afternoon, a friend says: "You bought the massage table Monday. HaShem knew what you wanted to do with it. Maybe he was trying to send you a message Tuesday night."
"HaShem this, HaShem that," I growled.
"It’s your life," my friend said with disgust.