When: Thursday–Late Afternoon- 4/5/2018
Weather: Mid to Low 70’s.
With my recent driving/walking problems described here, I am hesitant to give further evidence I should have my license to solo navigate the world revoked. This episode was easy for me to push all blame on the driver of the near hit and run. As I was completing my walk along the train tracks, I was preparing to transition to walking north along the side of the road for about a mile. At this juncture, there is also a road that runs nearly parallel to the train tracks. (The road and the train tracks are the chocolate cookie with the sidewalk being the white filling.) As I was preparing to make the right turn onto the parallel road, I was looking to the left-both ahead and behind and to the right. With trees obstructing my view, I needed to look more than once in each direction. As I was preparing to turn to the right, I thought I had a clear path in every direction. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be true. The car coming to the left and in front of me did a couple things to throw me off. The driver just cleared the trees going at a quicker than anticipated speed. And, the real calculation culprit was her not doing anything resembling a 90-degree turn. She cut the corner pretty badly. When I glanced left, it was like she emerged out of the trees and centered me on her windshield while preparing for impact. As I saw her coming, I did a little skip step and got to the other side of the road quickly. I stuck my hand up when she passed as if to say, “I am really sorry I was in your way.” It was really a reflex. I immediately started analyzing what happened to make me the target of the minivan. Of course, I bared no blame for the close call.
We have a young man for a neighbor. He was friends with my son when he and his dog lived in our house. In this young man’s past, he graduated with a finance degree. He worked a corporate job and became disillusioned. He quit his job and has had these dreams for a couple of years. As I came to the end of the road where I had my near collision, he was going the opposite direction of me. We exchanged waves.
He has provided two separate plans with neither of them, to my knowledge, being acted on. The first plan was to join the military. He was seen doing sprints and all forms of strenuous exercise around the neighborhood. Conversations with him led us to believe he was planning on joining the military and acquiring various berets for enduring extremes in training. He is still around and not as fit as he once was. So, that plan seems to have ended up in the garbage bin. The other plan was to rebuild a motorcycle, amass the necessary replacement part, and then ride the bike to Mexico and beyond. This plan was originally voiced nearly 2 years ago. His parents were not excited about this adventure. They were concerned for his safety and were I them; I would be concerned about his sanity.
As I saw him today, his hair was less long. His beard was better trimmed. And, he was walking without a dog or a motorcycle. The circumstances of our encounter did not invite a high-level update. The only thing I know for sure is he is alive and well. (The long hair leads me to believe the military never came together. And, if he went anywhere south of the Rio Grande, he survived.)
The last little oddity was almost at the end of my walk. I could almost see the my house. Coming toward me on the sidewalk was a family of 5 or 6. There was definitely a mom and dad. I remember an uncle or some other older male who may have been pushing/supporting a child who was on a small plastic toy with wheels that gave the child a false feeling of independence. There was a small boy who was waving some sort of stick. And, there was his sister in her school uniform. As our parties were about to collide, the girl was definitely on my side of the sidewalk. I attempted to balance myself on the edge before resorting to using my voice. “Could I have a little space please?” She did move over. Her face gave me one of those looks like, “But I want to be here.” Since she was leading the group, I still had to pass the adults. We smiled/nodded at each other. The boy asked his sister, “What did he say to you?” I don’t believe I heard the reply.
I don’t like to parent other peoples kids. This was one of those times I didn’t think I had to walk in the grass. Let the child get some thought planted in her head that the yellow line in the middle of the sidewalk is more than a recommendation. Likely, I cannot fully fathom what all she was thinking. I am pretty sure she emerged from my “harsh” question unscathed.