Almost got hit with a car tonight. I was crossing 12th at West Burnside, heading east. The light was with me, but an older couple in some SUV wasn’t looking both ways as the driver creeped out into Burnside; he was only looking east, waiting for the traffic to clear so he could shoot out into the lane. He was in a hurry, dammit, his life was important or something. He had a wife with him that had to… be… somewhere, or something. I stepped out cautiously, looking directly at the driver, figuring he’d have to look where he was going instead of to his left eventually, like, maybe, a couple of seconds after he started up Burnside.
Which would have been a couple of seconds too late. Too late for me, at any rate.
I was directly in front of the SUV (it was silver; people who drive silver cars are weird), still waiting for the driver to look at me. He was still intent on watching the traffic, waiting for it to clear. It was dark. I was wearing my black leather jacket (too cold for this weather, made a bad choice this morning) and a black hat, a black-and-gray scarf my friend Rachael knitted for me. And another car was waiting for the pedestrians in front of me to finish crossing and was likewise creeping from Burnside onto 12th. It caught my eye for a moment, the headlights looked like a Mini Cooper, I was distracted for just a moment, and I don’t think the driver of the Cooper saw me, either–
–And at that moment the driver of the SUV decided that the traffic was clear, since the Cooper was blocking the cars behind him. So the SUV surged forward.
And into me. It actually made contact with me, the bumper touching my legs and pushing me back, my hands slapping down on the hood, my torso twisting to my left and taking a half-step backward to get away from the silver tank heading my way. It had moved maybe a half-foot, six inches before it surged to a stop, gas-brake, that quickly.
The driver looked at me, I glared at him from under the brim of my black hat. I shook my finger at him, and shouted “You need to watch where you’re going!” and continued through the intersection, and at that moment the white-man-says-walk changed to the flashing-orange-hand, and the Mini Cooper stopped so its headlights picked me out like spotlights. My heart was beating and my face warm with embarrassment or something like it (which makes no sense; why would I be embarrassed?) and a guy on the opposite corner, the safe corner, up on the safe sidewalk was smiling at me.
It felt, after the fact, like a close call. Could have turned out differently. Didn’t, though. Still here. Yay.