As is typical, I went out on a walk this morning. As is also typical I was at a crosswalk and the light said it was my turn, but a car was turning right and she went before I could step out into the street. I’m used to this, and I always look out for the cars. This time I wasn’t even angry or surprised … it’s a tricky spot and, to be honest, I wasn’t exactly attentive to the light either and I think she may have wondered if I was even going to cross.
I got a fair distance away from that intersection when a driver pulled over and said, “Excuse me, Miss,” to get my attention. I assumed she needed directions somewhere but she explained that she was the one turning right and she just was in such a hurry to get to work she didn’t notice me and she wanted to apologize.
I was pretty shocked! I thanked her several times, explained that I’m a driver as well and know it’s easy to miss a pedestrian, and she said she just had to find me because she felt so bad.
What she had to do to come do this was take extra time, somehow find a place to turn around, and search me out. Wow.
I again thanked her before she left, and then (stupid me and words!) said, “Thank you so much. I’ve been walking for 5 years now and your the first to do this!”
What I meant, of course, was that she was the first to apologize. Oh I do hope she knew that. She certainly wasn’t the first to pull in front of me, and sometimes I’ve nearly been killed. But I nearly ran back to her to explain … yet I didn’t. I feel badly about that.
Then she drove away.
For some reason I became incredibly happy that morphed quickly and totally into sadness. I suddenly wanted to come home and end the walk.
I wonder if it’s because she was a person of color. Maybe it’s because I feel like, as a group of people, blacks have been so trampled on and she was the one and only person to EVER apologize to me. I wonder if it’s because I feel like I should have apologized to HER for all that she certainly has dealt with in her lifetime. I wonder if it’s because I am embarrassed by my old white self, full of privilege and all.
I honestly don’t know.
But now I wish I’d gotten her address so I could send her a card showing what I do on these wacky walks of mine and to thank her again for going out o her way to apologize.
Hindsight. I really hate it!
But in any case, I’m still puzzling over my reaction.
Here … have a flower from today’s walk, shortly before the street where we first had our encounter.
Calandrinia spectabilis (I), 4.20.17