Monday, December 21, 2015

Microstory 216: Triple Threat (Part I)

I step out of my house and climb into my car. I’m just about to turn the ignition when I stop myself. It’s a waste of gas and electricity, especially for my crappy old car, to go a few blocks. So I get back out and start walking. As I’m nearing my destination, I realize how great I feel. I’ve always wanted to get in better shape. Why am I even so much as entertaining the idea of going out for the sole purpose of buying chocolate? No. I’m better than this. I smile proudly as I pass the store. I almost wave to it, but there are people around, and I already feel a bit out of place. I only go a couple of miles, and I’m sure people walk those kind of distances on the regular, but it feels far to me. I’m waiting patiently at a crosswalk, farther than I’ve ever walked from my house. In fact, I’ve never been to this part of town. Everything I need is either closer or in a different direction. Still, it’s lights. I know how to navigate traffic lights. The indicator changes from the redish-orange hand to the whitish figure in midstride. I’m noting that the white van to my right is inching just a little too much, but I keep an eye on it, and prepare to walk briskly. It’s not enough. I could have either raced across, or raced back, but I panic and end up just trying to run away from it. The little red sedan to my left that’s trying to turn right is completely missing its mark, and is heading for me as well. The driver seems distracted. Now I really need to get back to my first corner, but I can’t think straight. I don’t walk. I never walk. I’m not a walker! Why do people walk so much? This is stupid! Why even try to exercise when nonsense like this is going to happen? A black truck coming from the opposite direction of the sedan, and trying to turn left is coming for me as well. That’s when my true acute stress response kicks in and I freeze, mentally resigned to the fact that one of these vehicles is going to crash into my fragile fat body and take my life away. But I do manage to keep my eyes open, and use them to witness an insane miracle. The corner of the white van turning left hits the red sedan turning right from the adjacent street. The black truck from oncoming traffic turning left hits the red sedan and the white van. All of this forms an untouched triangle of safety of which I am in the middle.

Part II: Wreckless
Part III: Friendly Fire
Part IV: Police Brutality
Part V: Bad Thoughts

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