Monday, September 15, 2008

Screeching Tires

My knees were so weak, I barely had strength to walk to the safety of the sidewalk... with the bus-the driver cussing me to pieces for not running out of the road like a sensible being, the bus-full of people wondering if I had a death wish, or if I was slightly suicidal or just plain crazy.

And me? I just stood there with my big, teared-up bulb eyes watching the bus drive away, trembling ever so slightly...


*SMH* Screeching tires. I've been causing/hearing that sound since I was a tiny little thing. My first major road accident was when I was four, crossing the road to go home from basic school. A bicycle man was coming down the hill full speed and couldn't brake in time. He ran straight into me and sent me sprawling... destroyed my little pink lunch kit (funny the things you remember... I don't even remember dude's face, all I remember is that he ruined my cute little lunch-kit and I was devastated).

Since that time, I have been plagued with an irrational fear of crossing the road... a situation accutely intensified by my move from rural country to urban town.

I loathe crossing town roads. Too many lanes and lines and lights to look out for... especially at cross-roads with four to six different lines of traffic... I still get scared about it (no kidding). And it's become a self-reinforcing habit. I get scared, my timing goes off, and by the time I swallow the panic and work up the courage to start the arduous trek across the road, the traffic light changes, and here comes a line of speeding cars at little scared me...

My mother is always especially concerned about this, because when I'm scared like that, I don't fight or fly. I freeze.

So this evening I was crossing the road and a huge white bus suddenly turned the corner and came at me full speed... I remember the flash of white, a bus-full of frightened people screaming 'moove!' and more than anything else, the familiar sound of screeching tires...

12 comments:

Gussie said...

Pedestrians are trading in their flats and slippers for running shoes and sneakers because of these bus and taxi drivers. We motorists are just as fearful of them. Be careful in these mean streets Ruthibelle.

Abeni said...

I am wary of vehicles too. I often think I will get knocked down sooner or later

Jdid said...

glad you survived. hope you can get over this phobia cause it could be lethal. hang in there girl

Ruthibelle said...

I hear you, Gussie/Abeni, I hear you... and Jdid, man, I've been trying to work on my reaction time. I think I'm improving... :)

kalonje said...

That frightening still.. you need to loose that freezing thing and learn to move when you see danger!

geewiz said...

The poor driver was cursing because you frightened him too...

D-Empress said...

Hi Ruthibelle
been trying to link you - can't find an email address. thanks for your comments on the Gleaner column and my blog - reaching out - come back to me so we can talk more.love your blog by the way!D-Empress

D-Empress said...

Ruthibelle- love your blog. been trying to get in touch with you but no email success - flash me nuh!
D-Empress

Mizrepresent said...

Wow, i can see how a event like that will cause you to fear. I have the same problem, going in reverse, every since my last car accident and went down an embankment backwards.

Ruthibelle said...

OMG Mizrep, I'm glad you're okay... car accidents are seriously traumatising...

Annie Paul said...

wow, thanks for illuminating pedestrian terror. never really thought about this before...

i always find it so irritating, especially on the UWI campus with all the ped crossings one has to stop at and then students seem to think that this is some sort of catwalk for them to slowly, deliberately strut their stuff on...what do they think?

so you've made me rethink my normal stance of barely concealed impatience of motorist toward pedestrian...

Ruthibelle said...

glad I could provide some illumination, but! the UWI case kinda different still. You dont hafta be a driver to get annoyed at how most students crawl over pedestrian crossings.

Uni students = inconsiderate.

And mek yuh ever lick them...