On PedestriansNovember 29, 2011
Oh, it's foggy today, so lovely and drippy and heavy and dark, and I LOVE IT. This is my favorite time of year, and November is my favorite month. The trees are just now turning (we do have lovely colors here, just not in such abundance as other places) and the roads are shiny and everything is just so pretty.
I'm at the cafe, about to get my write on, but I just had a nice thing happen, and I thought I'd tell you about it. It was a tiny moment. While driving down Bancroft, I stopped for an older man who was waiting at the crosswalk. Now, I'm great at stopping for pedestrians. I believe people on foot have as much right to cross the street as I have to drive it, and unfortunately, sometimes that translates into total impatience when I'm the one waiting to walk across the street. I'm one of those people who marches into the crosswalk, feigning indifference to the cars. I'm never actually indifferent; I stop walking and don't get in front of them if they don't stop for me. I don't have a death wish, but I like to give drivers a little scare if they don't stop, a little oh-crap-shoulda-seen-her moment. I expect drivers to stop, and I know it shows in my walk. I give a little flip of the hand, a terse "thanks" with no real gratitude.
So a few moments ago, I stopped for the older man. I slowed early and waved at him to let him know I saw him.
He crossed. While he was crossing, he grinned hugely and waved at me. That was nice. I sat up straighter and smiled, waving back.
Then, when he got to the median, he turned around and gave me an even happier wave. It was lovely. I wanted to stop the car and get out and hug him, but that would have been taking the whole pedestrian/driver contract way too far. But it made me think: when I cross the street, maybe I can initiate those moments with drivers. A smile. A cheerful, thankful wave. Why is that too much to ask from myself? Yes, legally they should stop. But that doesn't prevent me from really thanking them for their courtesy. His wave and smile were just so awesome. He made my day and won't ever know it.
There. I took a seven second exchange and made it into 400 words. I can tell I'm doing the final pretty-word-pass of the current manuscript, reading it on my Kindle, because I'm craving the actual writing.
(If you haven't had enough of me, I'm also up at the PensFatales today, talking about leftovers.)
(Also, it's 9:26am, and there's a full on first coffee date happening in front of me. It's cute, but if that nice boy doesn't stop talking about nothing but himself, the pretty girl isn't going to call him back, I'm just saying. Friendly tip.)