When Van Meets Human

Do you know how terrifying it is to come face-to-face with serious injury? Alright, you probably do. I was crossing Madison Ave Tuesday morning on my way to work, a billion things on my mind as usual, when an airport van speedily rounded the corner. I was in the middle of the crosswalk. Cars often turn quickly when the light is changing–pretty common everywhere, right?–but if there’s anyone in their way, they slam on the brakes and wait. This is the New York way. I’m used to it; happens all the time. Except this guy wasn’t slowing down. I weighed my options in mere milliseconds: Run forward? Run backward? Ultimately there wasn’t time to do either. I screamed out: “Dude!” It was the only thing I could think of. Those moments tend to slow down and they feel like minutes rather than seconds. Before I was almost slammed, I was looking up at the driver, figuring he saw me, but he’d been looking the other way while turning. He didn’t even notice me until the last second, me in my white dress, a little flash in the New York pan. The van finally slammed on the brakes mere inches from my body. I was barely awake, but my middle finger went up and I released a profanity-laced two lines at the driver, throwing my arms out to both sides.  Once I got to the sidewalk and started walking again, I realized I was bordering on legit shock, something I haven’t felt since I found out my ex got married, and before that when I got hit by a cab in 2007, my first year in New York. I finally feel like a real New Yorker.


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