Volume 21 Number 9
file: Toner 26
Skating into a crosswalk with the signal.
At the same time, some car scoots out from the corner trying to turn right. “I’ve got the right of way,” I stubbornly consider, mostly just because it suits me well for the moment, but partly as my own little social protest.
“Killing Me Would Be Bad” my invisible placard says.
Assuming gender, I keep right on track, “I know this guy sees me; if he hits me I’ll just jump onto his hood or something.” Looking at him through my peripheral vision, I push again, but this time much slower.
He kind of accelerates at me, and then slams on the brakes, making his car lurch. His move (stopping short) is as obvious as mine (ignoring his empty threat on my life). It’s turning into a very silly second or three.
He’s not going to hit me, though–it’s not happy hour yet. I drag my back foot and slow down more. A strange calm overcomes me. I kind of don’t care what happens.
I am now the “dumb” to his “dumber.” Trying to look like I just noticed him and pushing to get out of his way–playing the conscientious but idiotic skater–I turn hard into the lane he so aggressively wants to be driving in.
He honks long.
My blinders are securely fastened.
The driver yells something over the horn honking about my sexual orientation, and once I’m out of the narrow lane he really gets on the gas and speeds along his bitter way.
I click, scrape, and lift up onto the sidewalk and glance over my shoulder in time to spy his two kids staring out the window in my direction–part smiles, part surprise–and I shoot them back a wave and a quick, happy grin.
I hope they grow up to be skateboarders.