I almost died today. Not from cancer...But from a stupid little woman driving an enormous Hummer and TALKING ON HER CELL PHONE! Is that not against the law yet? So I'm taking my walk, building up steam, decide to cross the street and this woman decides to ignore the stop sign in front of her and, I swear, she stopped about six inches from my feeding tube. I froze and she jumped out of the car and said, "I didn't see you." And I said, "How could you see me when YOUR HEAD DOESN'T CLEAR THE STEERING WHEEL!" She couldn't have been more than five feet tall. And she was all nervous and apologetic but SHE WAS STILL TALKING ON HER PHONE. "Just a minute, Gail, I've got to deal with this."
Deal with this? You almost killed me, you idiot. And then I thought, Oh of course. This is perfect. I lived through all I've lived through then BAM, I get hit by a stupid little woman in her Hummer.
"How did she go?"
"She got hit by a Hummer."
"But the cancer was gone, right?"
"Oh yeah. No problem with the cancer."
So I just glared at this woman. Glared down a few inches. While she waited for me to say something. I could hear Gail on the other end of her phone. "Hello? Are you still there? Are you driving through that dead spot?"
Yes! This WAS almost a dead spot with me as the road kill because your friend was talking to YOU in her gigantic car. Who needs a car that big? Is she transporting buffalo because that's the only reason I can think of that a woman that size would need such a big car.
"Well, if your okay I'm going to go now."
"Turn off your phone."
"Turn off your fucking phone."
Okay, we were at an impasse here. Either I wasn't speaking English or she was refusing to hear what I was saying. Let's just guess the latter. So then I started my rant. About cell phones and giant cars and of course I threw in cancer and flashed my tube at her which I could see she found quite upsetting. I almost showed her my scar but that seemed a bit too intimate.
"Alice, are you still there? Hello? Hello?"
And Gail was still on the other end. And this was at nine in the morning and I'm sure they were both on their way to a hair appointment after dropping off their perfect kids at some perfect school where they will graduate from and go to some perfect college and play perfect sports and then graduate and become perfect NOTHINGS. (Okay, that was mean. I'm sure Gail is a wonderful person and Alice or whoever the little Hummer driver is must be just the bestest gal around. Maybe she could be my bestest friend. Maybe we should exchange numbers. Cell phone numbers. Maybe I should bash her head into her Hummer.)
Anyway, she drove away as quickly as she could and continued her conversation with Gail and I am sure she told her that a crazy woman walked into the street and she did everything she could to avoid hitting her.
So I kept walking. And I was trying to get that feeling one is supposed to get after you live through cancer or whatever...That feeling that, wow, life is so wonderful and isn't it great to be alive. Haven't gotten that feeling yet. But my mind took a different path and went to thoughts like...What crazy things people do to fill their time on this planet. And here's where that thought came from...After walking a little ways I saw a man very methodically putting together what looked to be a bicycle. There was a bench near by so I sat down to surrepticiously watch him. And he kept pulling parts out of his old car and attaching them ever so perfectly to the other parts he had already put together. Now this man was somewhere between fifty and death. Not in great shape with a pretty scraggly beard. But he was a hard worker. And he finished. And he locked his car. And he got on this "thing" and he rode off. This "thing" had two back wheels about two inches high and one front wheel about three feet high. The pedals stuck out from the middle of the front wheel. And I'm watching all this and I'm thinking, Wow, this is how this guy spends his time on earth. Putting together what looks to be a ridiculous contraption. Or was it? I think he loved it. I think he was completely happy. This guy was spending his life exactly as he wanted to. No pressure, no feeling that he had to "be someone."
He escaped from Camarillo with a kids bike and a unicycle and he was about to ride himself off The Santa Monica Pier.
I have to find a calmer place to take my walk. Ireland, perhaps?