I’ve missed home so much this week. And since I’ve been at work for about 18 days in a row now, in lieu of posting today, I’m reprinting an entry I wrote for my old blog on 2010-14-12. A little glimpse at my life as a 19-year-old in New England.
Cars. I’m not used to cars. Or rather.. driving cars. I’m pretty good at jaywalking (although I’ve just learned that in California it’s actually punishable by law).
Last night, driving out on the town, I wondered why the jerk-face behind me was tail-gaiting me. Or why there was a line of angry drivers behind him. And then I realize I’m driving ten miles under the speed limit trying to adjust the volume of Katy Perry on the stereo. And so I speed up.
And come to a screeching halt at a stop sign. There’s cars on the left and cars on the right trying to pass. And Katy is still not playing loud enough (what is wrong with this damn stereo?). When I finally pull out, my arc is too wide and I feel the bottom half of my wide-load pickup truck drag behind me, praying I don’t hit the little kids in front of the convenience store.
Thankfully, I don’t. I don’t even come close. But I’m paranoid.
The next four minutes of the ride are pretty uneventful. Except Katy Perry switches over to Taylor Swift. And so I turn the radio up louder (I’m not sure where the limit on this thing is, but I’m pretty sure I’m about to hit it). When I reach the large intersection, with four lanes of cars on each side, I’m stuck behind an oil (or is it milk?) truck, mulling over the possibility of instant death by oil spill or lactose overload. I don’t know which one sounds more horrible (probably the lactose, for it would be a prolonged, stomach-cramping, intestine-bloating death).
And then I run a red light.
I hope the cops didn’t notice. Luckily there’s not a pohlice in sight. But, I am feeling guilty. Although, what could I do? I’d like to think that the truck in front of me should have moved faster. By this time, I’m in the parking lot. With a million stop signs. Trying to navigate in this pickup truck.
I see a parking spot. I go for it. I miss. I pull out. I try again. I miss again (typical). But this time, I’m about six inches away from the car on my right and there’s two middle-aged women laughing at me. They probably think I don’t know how to drive. They’re probably right. I decide at this point to abandon this mission and pull out completely narrowly missing the Honda Civic on my right.
There’s another parking spot. I go for it.
Now, let’s not forget to take the keys out like I did last time.
Frivolous Monsters says
Jaywalking is a conundrum to us British. We know you have it, but probably don’t quite believe or understand it. I had assumed it was all America – this image is something you’ve given to the World – but is it just California? Are you safe to cross the road without fear everywhere else?
You need a day off for sure.
It’s actually fascinating (at least to me) how regional jaywalking is in the US. Us New Englanders claim that the term originated in Boston, and I have friends from the mid-atlantic who didn’t jaywalk until college. Last time I visited California, I was almost forcibly pulled back, less out of the danger and more out of the fact that the police notice and give tickets. I take it, jaywalking is completely outlawed in the UK? Part of me feels like we do it so much back in the US out of our inflated sense of self..
Frivolous Monsters says
As I understand it, I had to just look it up to check, jaywalking is crossing the road at places that aren’t official crossings. Over here we do not have that and you can pretty much cross any road you want wherever you want. Here you’re responsible for your own safety.