Dear person who never looks up while crossing the street, no matter how much traffic there is,
Hey, how’s it going? I hope I didn’t interrupt you from anything important. Please, by all means, go ahead and finish texting LOL to your friend Brad. Don’t forget the smiley face emoticon. Your text is far more important than anything I have to discuss with you. I’ll wait……… Done yet? Super.
Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself. You see, I’m the guy whose car almost creamed you earlier today when you walked into traffic against the light and never once looked up. I doubt you remember me.
I can imagine it must have been hard to hear my horn blaring or my brakes screeching to avoid hitting you, what with that AC / DC song playing on your iPod at 175 decibels. I could hear them rocking away from inside my car with my windows up. I have to say, excellent choice in music, dude. Can’t go wrong with Highway to Hell – a classic.
You know, when I was young, I was taught that the center of the solar system was the sun. I now realize that my teacher lied to me – because clearly the solar system revolves around an eight-inch space between those earbuds of yours.
Okay, so technically I may have had the “legal” right of way over you, seeing as the light was green for me, and you had that annoying, flashing DON’T WALK sign that you probably missed since it didn’t flash on your cell phone. But hey, who has time to read street signs when they’re busy checking out their Facebook page, am I right?
Anyhoo, what I was trying to say is I apologize. I’m deeply sorry if my car’s front bumper photobombed the Selfie you were taking. Given that my windshield was merely four feet away from your ribcage when our paths crossed, I fear I may have ruined your Snapchat moment.
I must confess, I envy you just a little. You looked so at peace – so completely unbothered by the gridlock you created for all those cars behind me trying in vain to make it through the intersection. I am in awe of your composure in the face of a long line of irate drivers who would have happily made you into a hood ornament.
A lesser person would have been intimidated at the thought of 4,000 pounds of steel bearing down on them at the speed of a hungry cheetah. But not you. You were so courageous, completely undaunted. Even the screams of the maddening crowd didn’t shake your certitude that the urban seas would part to make way for your triumphant, regal crossing. Way to make an entrance, King Cell Phone Dude.
And I simply must applaud your amazing ability to keep your eyes focused downward during your entire crossing. As I was trying in vain to get your attention, your eyes never once wandered from your cell phone screen during your entire 36-foot journey from curb to curb. I doubt a nuclear explosion could have diverted your concentration away from whatever YouTube roomba cat video you were locked in on.
Ya’ know, sometimes I find myself having to stop what I’m doing and pay attention to other people around me who insist that I observe basic courtesies of a modern society. You don’t suffer from that affliction. Not one bit. It must be nice not to have to worry about anything outside of a two-foot radius of your thumbs. What’s important to me is that you were able to saunter across the street at your own leisurely pace, without having to worry about anyone else on this planet. I am in awe of you.
I hope our paths cross again sometime. Perhaps we’ll meet on an airplane. I’ll be the guy right behind you in line waiting for fifteen minutes while you attempt to squeeze a suitcase the size of a refrigerator into the overhead compartment.
But if I know you – and I’m pretty sure I do – you won’t notice me then either. And that’s okay. Because no matter how long you make me wait for you to place your special order at the drive thru or ask the bank teller to convert your collection of 2,578 pennies into dollar bills, it’s okay. Take your time. Please don’t hurry on my account. All that matters to me – and the other 25 people in line behind you – is that you focus on the needs of Numero Uno, buddy. Act like we’re not even here. That should be easy for you to do.
On behalf of all the people in this world who are forced to wait on the outside of whatever impenetrable magic bubble you live in, I just want to say, thank you for reminding all of us that your time is more valuable than ours.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2014