Ready, Steady Go!
PocketDocs: Running With Scissors
I was pissed off.
Being the eldest kid sucked.
I had important stuff to do and going to the shops for my mother wasn’t one of them.
No bike, said mum, for some unknown reason, so I had to hoof it. And because I was so upset about having to go in the first place, I ran the whole way.
Getting to the shops meant crossing two very busy streets, with the help of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.
Taking deep, gulping breaths I leant into the light pole, index finger jabbing at the black button non-stop until the little green man appeared.
Straight into the shop, got the couple of things needed back home, and right back out to the crossing.
There was a lot of traffic across the four-lane mini highway , everyone out and about driving off to do fun things, unlike me. I smouldered.
The lights were taking a terribly long time to turn. Was it just me or where they short-changing in favour of the cars?
With a face like thunder, I stood, with my finger on that little black button, for what seemed like ages.
I waited impatiently, my anger flaring. It wasn’t fair! I just wanted to get home.
And what the heck was going on with these lights? Why hadn’t they changed ?something must be wrong with them.
I could be here all day! Oh come on, come on!
My feet tapped the dirty grey footpath impatiently, my head swivelling from side to side – was there no end to the cars and buses and trucks driving past me?
I stood craning my neck, up the street and down, like an overly enthusiastic tennis spectator.
And then, unexpectedly, I saw a break in the traffic and impulsively, I left my common-sense on the footpath and ran for it.
I got half way across the road, came to a half-crazed stop in the middle, let a double-decker bus go past and then stepped out and into the path of an olive-green VW that had raced up out of nowhere.
The car swerved wildly, jerking away from me at the last minute to the screeching of tyres and the blasting of a horn. I was rooted to the spot whilst all the noise and colour registered in my brain in slow motion.
The driver was a young hippy-looking girl with a mane of long, brown curls flowing out the window. I could see the whites of her startled eyes and the flare of her nostrils as she yanked the steering wheel away from me. Like a wild horse she whinnied a scream. Her bearded passenger-seat boyfriend yelled foul obscenities at me non-stop, stabbing the air with a spindly finger presumably showing me where the crossing and the green man were and then making rude signs and signals.
In a blaze of swear words, gesticulation and glowering looks, the driver took off, kangarooing the Vdub away from me as I desperately tried to breathe.
Still clutching my shopping to my chest and with tears streaming down my face, I hobbled awkwardly across the road, to the footpath on the other side.
The traffic had increased and there was more tooting of horns and jeering.
It seemed as if all the other road-users were joining in the abusive banter at my expense. Expletives of the highest calibre rained down on me as I slunk away.
Not one vehicle stopped to see if I was okay.
As I dumped the shopping onto the kitchen table, my mother innocently asked what had taken me so long.
Lots of traffic, I muttered, not meeting her eye.