Point of View: Careful

Every year it seems to get worse

I almost got run over
Did you — too?
Then there’s a pair of us?
Don’t tell! They’d really take aim — you know

How dreary — 
to be — Pedestrian!
How exposed — like a Dog —
To risk one’s life — 
the livelong July —
I think we’ll move to Quogue!

Every year it seems to get worse. Last night, O’en and I were almost clipped by a wide-turning tank dropping people off at the house across the street. With O’en on the leash, I unleashed obscenities. I had been waving my flashlight energetically to ward them off, but to little avail it seemed. 

As we headed home I thought I heard a woman say she was sorry, but I could have been mistaken.

This morning, a guy sped through the walkway between the cleaners and Mary’s Marvelous after others had stopped, a foot or two away from my receding chin. I yelled, as is my wont, and he clapped a hand to his forehead, realizing his mistake, I thought, though I could have been mistaken.

Then lately I have seen a toddler toddling near the end of our driveway in the morning as her mother walks a dog nearby, on a leash. The toddler too should be on a leash. This morning, I told the mother that cars sometimes drive quickly on our street, and then I thought about how, in backing out of our driveway, which we’re used to doing, we wouldn’t be able to see a toddler in our rearview mirrors. So, I turned and headed out frontways over the lawn.

I wasn’t surprised to read a letter this week fleshing out the serious injuries a 63-year-old pedestrian had suffered as the result of being hit by a Jeep in a crosswalk near the post office on June 23. Driver said she didn’t see her, if I’m not mistaken. Not that long ago, and not that far away, a 14-year-old girl was killed as she was riding a bicycle. 

I’d be mistaken if I didn’t include myself as one of the potentially heedless. You never know. 

One thing I do know is that I can’t remain in a gloomy state overlong, and so it was refreshing on Friday to see Isabel in the reeking dump. She too thinks the traffic is the worst ever. It had taken her I don’t know how long to get to East Hampton from Southampton, she said. I told her that when Mary was about to set out from Springs earlier that day to do some shopping in Amagansett I’d said, “You can’t get there from here.”

Happily, I was mistaken.