Wednesday’s Wandering Thought

Rain was coming down. Black asphalt reflected the oncoming traffic’s lights. The speed limit was 35 MPH here but he guessed that the approaching SUV was doing closer to 50. He couldn’t identify what brand the big, silver SUV was, because its grill and front end were gone. As it went by — a Toyota, he noted — he saw that the young female driver was holding a cell phone on top of the steering wheel. Her jaw and mouth were moving like she was shouting at the phone.

He wondered what the story was behind the vehicle’s front-end damage.

Helmet Law

The young woman on the scooter was wearing a lavender helmet. It went well with her shiny purplish bikini and sandals.

Watching her pass, he gauged she was probably traveling thirty miles an hour on the twenty-five limit road. Most people drove thirty to thirty-five, with some hurrying on to forty. Two people had been killed on the road in the last ten years, so he worried about the unknown girl. A friend had been wearing a helmet when she crashed. Wasn’t on this road, granted, but she’d been going thirty miles an hour when she lost control. (Privately, he thought she was going faster because he’d seen her riding before, but she claimed she was doing thirty.) Despite wearing a denim shirt and cotton shorts, she’d suffered huge injuries on her back and legs when she slid along the asphalt road. Weeks of hospitalization followed, along with a year of treatment.

That’d been what a person wearing a shirt and shorts had suffered. As for a person without much of a top…

He shrugged. At least she was wearing a helmet.


I’m in the cross walk, crossing Siskiyou Avenue in Ashland, Oregon. Ashland is supposed to be a walker friendly town, but I walk this town a bit, using eighteen crosswalks a day on average. I expect, from experience, for drivers not to yield to a pedestrian at four to five crosswalks a day.

It’s worse in the mornings. I was caught between two cars in a crosswalk the other day. One was turning left. He ran the stop sign and ignored me in the crosswalk, giving me a jaunty wave as he missed me by two feet. Meanwhile, the SUV coming straight thought that I would be by, so he kept coming. But because I drew up to avoid behind hit by the other guy, he missed me by less than two feet.

Today, these five drivers didn’t yield. It wasn’t that they didn’t see me. Visibility was great, and there was plenty of time. In what seemed like they were giving me the finger, they sped up. Already exceeding the twenty-five miles per hour speed limit, they were zipping along at thirty-five to forty when they passed me, standing in the cross walk. I heard the lead white Ford F250 accelerate from the vehicle’s location thirty feet away. Felt its breeze as its mirrors whipped past my head. Saw the driver through his window two feet away as he went by.

It outraged me. I spun through the usual shit that I spin through when someone gives me the finger or blows me off. I know I’m not a perfect driver. Never have been, and never will be. But I try to minimize shit. I try to do right with others.

Others don’t always play nicely. That’s what it seemed like these five drivers were doing. For whatever fucking reasons going on in their heads, stopping to let someone cross the street wasn’t on their list of things to do.

After venting to myself, I thought about the more pragmatic impacts of a car hitting me. Yes, I know I would suffer an injury, the levels and extent T.B.D., but my friends and family can share multiple stories about the injuries I’ve endured. There wouldn’t be anything I could do about that.

Instead, I worried about my computer files. That’s my writing, dude. I’d neglected to back it up the other day when the reminder went off. I’d hit the snooze. When it went off again, I ignored it.

I imagined losing those files, and swore in a dozen different ways. The crosswalk encounter reminded me that the back up was required.  Time to plug the zip drives back in and back up the files, because, hey, you never know.

The Boom

My dressing was just completed. I was visiting with the tailless black panther, Boo Radley , in the master suite. He was enjoying the attention. Just as I presented him a catnip offering on his favorite toy, a loud boom interrupted from another part of the house.

“Oh, fuck,” I heard from my wife.

Not good omens.

I went out. “What’s the word out he — ”

No more was needed. She’d been blending the day’s smoothie. Something had gone awry. Raspberry-pomegranate smoothie decorated the kitchen’s hardware floor. Spatters continued up the walls and wooden cabinets. The stainless steel refrigerator had taken a large hit. More hits were found on its stainless steel brethren, the dishwasher and stove. A puddle had settled on the dark granite top.

I wondered, what would Dexter tell me about this spatter pattern?

My wife, looking forlorn, was in the middle of the mess. Smoothie rolled down her jean legs. “What’s the best way to clean this up?” she asked without looking at me.

Cleaning wasn’t hard with a methodical approach, cleaner, some paper towels and rags. It took but ten minutes. The worse of it: the day’s smoothie rations were gone. Enough remained for her breakfast smoothie but there was naught for our lunches.

The best part: a raspberry-pomegranate smoothie explosion leaves the house with a great fragrance.


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