J. – Uber: I Hit Someone With My Car

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The fare was at Berklee. Getting to this person involved a labyrinthine GPS-led journey amongst the twisting streets of that section of the city. It’s a section that I have never been jazzed about, even when I was a student at Northeastern and kind of nearby. The only thing worth looking at besides Berklee students smoking on the sidewalk is the Christian Science Center temple and that’s old hat by now.

My quarry was at the very end of a very narrow one way street, hampered by construction and opening on to Mass Ave. This is around 11:00 AM. Cars are behind me, traffic is a solid block in front of me. Do I swing around somehow on to Mass Ave. and then bang a U-ie to pull up in front of this dude? Or do I pull up on to the corner and hope A) people can get by me and B) the dude is going to be right there? Well, the answer to A was “no” and yes, I pulled my car up on to a corner. I know, I know. Look, I’m not the most collected person.

BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEPPP. Mind you, I have pulled on top of a street corner. So I am halfway in a crosswalk. I have officially flown my IDIOT BOSTON DRIVER flag out of the back of the M&M. Berklee Dude wasn’t around. BEEP BEEP BEEEEEP from behind me. There’s nowhere to go because pedestrians are surging around my tiny vehicle, and traffic was, once again, a solid line of metal in front of me.

I place a desperate call to my fare. A shredding guitar blows out my ear drum and “Joey” lets me know he’s too busy “rocking” to answer the phone. Instead of leaving a message along the lines of “Hey Joey, your voicemail message is ridic, and you can go **** yourself for not being where you’re supposed to be,” I prep to send a text.

There’s suddenly a tapping on my window. A grinning young person with disheveled hair waves. I roll down the window.

“Joey?” I ask through gritted teeth from my iridescent green go-kart.

“Yeah, man,” he says nonchalantly, and climbs in the back with a short compatriot.

Both have an aura of having been lucky enough this early in the semester to have located and used the really good weed that only Berklee students can acquire.

They’re in. I’m off. No, I’m not. Traffic is moving. I could slip in and be off this street corner that my car is on top of like when the MIT students assemble a car on top of their dome or whatever. I couldn’t go because a young lady was sauntering in the crosswalk. It wasn’t a crosswalk walk. It was an “entering the club, all eyes on me, if that’s your boyfriend, he wasn’t last night” walk. I’m not sure for whom she was preening. It definitely wasn’t for me. She sort of paused when I revved my engine.

I didn’t mean to rev at her. I was trying to beat her into the crosswalk. But I think I may have parked on a sort of strangely textured part of the sidewalk (for blind people?) or maybe I was REALLY on top of the corner so one of my wheels wasn’t touching? Who knows. You can rest assured that nothing I plan ever turns out correctly (well, the wedding did but that was it), so yes, my tires were spinning as if I had parked in a snowbank. My car was not advancing. I had two passengers, mass havoc around me, a haughty woman in the crosswalk and BEEEEP BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEP behind me. Boston.

In preparation for when I would be able to somehow extricate myself from the street corner and drive, I used a hurrying motion with my hand towards the budding temptress in the crosswalk. Not smart. Ooo, she didn’t like that. Her eyes narrowed and she paused for a split second. I immediately though “oh, oh” and wondered if it would be too much if I suddenly ordered everyone in the car to lock the doors. What? She could have had a knife or slapped me really hard.

She went about her pursed lips way, and I tried to move the car again. Spinning tires. Nope. BEEEEEEEEEP. Pedestrians had now flooded the crosswalk and moved around me like a school of a**hole fish. I realize that I was actually the a**hole in this situation, but pedestrians in the Hub are the worst people you will ever encounter. They all deserve to die. I’d rather a drunk passenger puke in my car than have to deal with haughty and/or mindless pedestrians. You fools. You hellish fools.

Well, I backed the car up to see if that would work. Like when you’re stuck in snow! Because I was panicking, (I’m a panicker) I had temporarily forgotten about the car behind me who I’m pretty sure was pushing his car horn with enough force to make his hand bleed. Yes, I almost reversed into him. Because my car was freed! I didn’t know car horns could actually change in tone and timbre and sound even more bulls**t at the pinhead in front of them. This one did. It had gotten shriekier. That was ok, though, because we were off! The crosswalk was clear, traffic was moving, we were free! FREE AT LAST!

The runner who had just run into the crosswalk figured he had the right of way. I can not tell you if he had the walk signal or not. All I know is that we both struck at the same time and he bounced off my car.

To indicate to you how distracted I am by stressful situations, my initial thought was “he’s GOT TO MOVE, the guy behind me has had to WAIT FOR SO LONG. Why is he TOUCHING MY CAR?” It didn’t occur to me to worry about the man who I had just hit in the hip with my car. It’s always a first come, first served deal with me. When I’m annoying/hampering/trying to kill multiple people, I always want to appease the first one that I enraged. See, I can be organized.

I didn’t run him over. I immediately stopped. He gave me that runner’s look. The bicyclists have it, too. They’re not being recognized as existing by the fats who need to drive places. I’m physically fit, behold! It was withering, and he also did sort of a weak little push at my hood like he was going to roll my car back? If I was calm, I would have chortled and rolled my eyes. But he could have been killed or had me arrested. I wanted to die. This psychodrama in the crosswalk beside Mass Ave. was too much. I wanted to find the nearest fast food drive-thru and eat my terror and guilt. Fortunately for the horn maestro behind me, he was able to swerve around and yell something nasty at me that I was fortunate enough not to catch. The runner ran off, and didn’t sue me. No cops were called. I’m guessing city runners are used to the occasional car hitting them?

A little while later, I’m driving “Joey” and Joey’s shorter friend to “this little skate shop, man.”

Me: (trying to decompress) So, did you see where I hit that guy with my car?

Laughter from the backseat.

Joey: Yeah, man.

Boston.

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