* “Suicide By Pomerantz.”
This one really baffles me.
“That’s not just a ‘literary pose’?”
No, but thank you for doubting my veracity.
“What else are ‘Inner Voices’ for?”
Anyway, here’s the thing.
Recent experience suggests that people have been asking me to kill them.
Two of them in the past week. That may not make it a scientifically significant sample. But it does raise it to the level of “Legitimate Blog Fodder.” (Bloggers having inferior standards to scientists.)
Okay, now the boring but necessary preamble:
Let me talk about our driveway.
Hey, where’d you go?
I promise you, this story is going someplace. As they say on police shows when they are comforting a seriously injured person after calling for a “Bus”…
“Stay with me.”
It is not a particularly narrow driveway. Spreading wider closer to the garage, it is theoretically possible to turn around on it. But it’s a hassle, and you are likely to leave tire marks in the adjacent lawn in the attempt. At least some of us are. The ones thinking, “Did I just drive onto the lawn?”
The point is, barring that challenging alternative, it is practically necessary to back out of our driveway.
And when you do so, because of the cars parked immediately to the north edging to the “mouth” of our driveway – if I can borrow a Ninth Grade geography term involving rivers – it is virtually – make that literally – impossible to see the traffic approaching from that northerly direction. On a regularly trafficky thoroughfare.
We are basically taking our lives in our hands every time we back out of our driveway.
Even the good drivers.
Understandably, therefore, one backs out of our driveway extremely cautiously. You know how they say, “There are no atheists in foxholes”? Well there are no atheists backing out of our driveway. (My “Autocorrect” just changed “driveway” to “drivel.” When did my blog screen become a Ouija Board?)
This preamble has a direct bearing on this story because, backing out of our driveway, even precautionarily slowly respecting the unseeable oncoming traffic…
I almost ran over a pedestrian who was passing behind me.
How does this qualify as “Suicide By Pomerantz”?
The pedestrian was paying no attention whatsoever to his imminent demise.
(Note: This jarring phenomenon occurred again two days later at a pedestrian crosswalk. Since the specifics in both cases was virtually identical – neither pedestrian was aware of being “this close” to the end of their life – I shall focus on the earlier “near fatality”, assuring you that the harrowing crosswalk calamity felt exactly the same, making me wonder if it was a trend.)
The pedestrian walked casually past my driveway – the second time it was a woman, eliminating any possible “Gender Stupidity” factor – as if he did not for a second notice I was there… backing up into him.
Was he checking his iPhone? No. Was he bopping to a headphone-delivering playlist? No. Was he sauntering up the street, blithely oblivious to the multi-ton vehicle about to extinguish his existence because his mother said “God will protect you” and he crazily believed her?
I had to jam on the brakes to prevent him from meeting his Maker!
SAINT PETER: “How did you perish, my son?”
PEDESTRIAN” “Dude. Really. I’m dead?”
I don’t know, is this something new? Is this generational? I don’t understand it. We were indoctrinated, “When a car is bearing down on you – even at a substantially reduced speed – Idiot! You keep an eye on the proceedings!”
“I am telling you, Your Honor” – because there would definitely be a trial – “This guy did not turn his head an inch in my direction. Swear to god, you compare pictures where a guy’s passing a driveway where no car is about to run him down and this guy…
“… They’d be exactly the same picture!”
I honestly don’t get it. Do “Millennials”, emerging from pampered and entitled childhoods feel consequently immortal?
Well they’re wrong! Pay attention! Or you people will be seeing the undercarriage of my ’92 Lexus!
You can sense how upset I am. Aside from my “Revenge Fantasy” – for scaring the pants off me – of nudging him everso slightly with my car, my racing mind and skyrocketing blood pressure propelled me immediately to “Worst Case Scenario”:
“911? Yeah, I think something bad happened.”
This is not “letting myself off the hook.” Drivers, of course, need to look where they’re going.
But so – is my message – do pedestrians.
Otherwise, it could frighteningly easily be “Suicide By Pomerantz.”
And they may not even have wanted to go.