Major accident directly in front of my building. Brought back lots of bad memories. All these people in passing cars slowing down and glaring at ME as if I somehow caused it, doesn’t help matters. Neither does the fact that TODAY – April 26 – marks ten years since the accident that very nearly took my life.
The resemblance between the two crashes (or at least the damage done in them) was uncanny… or should I say unsettling. The fact that I came within seconds of causing my own death on a random Sunday evening on a road in Coal Township, Pa – a mere thousand yards from my home at the time… by obeying all traffic laws to the letter. The reward for my pain and suffering: loss of license, loss of insurance, loss of freedom and, worst of all, loss of the first thing I ever outright owned.
So, while at least one OPD officer was on hand interviewing participants in today’s incident. At no point did anyone bother to ask ME what happened at mine, in fact, the first thing the responding officer said to me was: “yeah, I figured it would be you. Every time there’s an accident in this city. YOU are the who caused it.”
I take that back, he DID ask what happened, and his partner cut him off: “‘Green?’ You mean ‘green’ like graaaaaassss or RED like an aaaaaappulllllll?”
“I’m a college graduate – that means I graduated from Kindergarten too.”
“DON’T YOU TALK TO ME LIKE THAT, YOU STUPID MOTHERF-”
At this point, the first cop pulled his hot-headed partner away before he could punch me, but just as he was about to get back to interviewing me, a woman cut him off shouting: “I saw it. I saw the whole thing. He did it. He caused the whole thing” and I didn’t see either officer again for another six hours (for six seconds at the hospital, he looked down at me, shrugged and said “well, you know you’re guilty” and left).
Yep, since I never talked to them (or the newspaper [link not found] which declared me guilty of “causing an accident on SR-61”) that left only one choice: Tell it to the judge… except my dad’s attorney stopped me from entering the courtroom and said: “face it, YOU caused the accident, so rather than go in there and lose – which you will – you will instead plead ‘no contest’ so I can work on more important cases.” Fuck you too.
Sorry, that concludes my story, which is convenient since the trolley I was waiting for has arrived. I have not looked up whether today’s story made the paper or not, but the first thing the driver said when she opened the door was: “damn, that’s the second accident at this exact spot this week. I swear this place is cursed…”
I was bored and cabin feverish (from the previous two days’ rain) so I checked the weather app on my phone and decided to head out to do a bunch of errands at Wal-Mart: Restaurant (a McDonald’s), salon, cell phone store and, of course, groceries all in one place. What could go wrong?
The good news is: The “Signature Chicken Sandwich” I had as a late lunch (almost 2pm by the time I got there), while taking longer than I anticipated to get, it came exactly as I ordered it. My iced coffee was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but it tasted remarkably good.
And then I made the mistake of going to get my haircut from the salon next door. The Aspie in me wants to call my stylist (whom I was hoping not to get) “rude and condescending,” but the reality was he didn’t speak English (apparently, Americans aren’t the only ones who do the whole “slower/louder” thing). This means I don’t have to worry about small talk and all but guarantees I don’t get the cut I wanted.
Believe me, when he stopped treating my already sore head/neck/shoulder like he was trying to fit it into an oversized bag into an already full overhead bin to joke with his coworker (in Spanish) I was very tempted to flee… but, sadly, he returned before I could do so. On the plus side, I don’t HAVE to tip him – and I didn’t. Why reward poor service?
Next, I went to the cell phone store next to the other entrance to get rid of my old phone/tablet, and like the Verizon Store before them, they refused to accept them, so I went to Game Stop on the other side of the plaza as a last resort, and… Guess whose dumpster just acquired a useless phone, an obsolete tablet and two chargers.
Yep, aside from the haircut (which I wasn’t happy with), it was a completely wasted trip (hence the headline) so I went back in the Big Blue Behemoth and found one of the items I missed on previous visits as well as a few staples (just so I didn’t leave empty-handed) and another iced coffee because why not.
I left Wal-Mart for the second time with my full reusable bag and as I walked out to the parking to wait for my Lyft, I felt drops falling on my head. It was as if the weather and I were in the same mood. Thankfully, the rain gear I didn’t need was back in the apartment…
The driver at I-Ride Trolleys ID-ed me getting on. I can handle that (sort of). It’s part of his job, but it always throws me off since 1) I can’t process questions promptly which makes me sound like a liar, and 2) I never actually remembered to get a Florida ID (though their address is saved on my computer) and I need a “valid diagnosis” before I can get a CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders) card, which is itself useless in this situation because it isn’t a “valid” form of ID.
No, what bothered me was when he angrily got out of his seat, shoved his finger in my face and started yelling at me, basically told me to get off his trolley because the woman across from me mistakenly pulled the cord for the last stop and then repulled it at the correct one and got off as normal… which makes ME a jerk for “wasting his time” for stopping for “no reason” (apparently, that’s my idea of “fun,” who knew).
Frankly, he will not tolerate that from me – even after telling him twice that it was not me but the woman across from me who had already gotten off, he still scolded me anyway because he is too smart to fall for an obvious lie like that.
Besides, I’m Autistic, if HE thinks I’m guilty, and I know otherwise then I must believe him because I lack the ability to tell truth from lies (which to his credit IS an Autism trait) …but HE CAN so I am required by some kind of unwritten law to defer to his assumed truth rather than what I know is true.
I am not to question it. If he says I did something then damnit, I did do it (regardless of whether or not I actually did it). However, I was not going to be BULLIED off a bus because of a complete non-issue just so he can smugly tell himself that he “taught [me] a lesson.”
Eventually, he realized that I was not going to be backing down and went back to his job.
The irony is, I was getting off at the next stop, so as soon as he was seated, I pulled the pull cord for my actual stop. Sometimes, I wonder why this keeps happening to me…
I left the apartment around 4:35pm to get dinner on I-Drive. I figured with the Westward Blvd under construction, it would be relatively easy to cross. I was wrong, they moved the construction zone up a block so it was back to two in each direction.
Fortunately, crossing the normally busy westward lane was relatively easy as it wasn’t moving (the second lane, not turning onto I-4, was impossible to really gauge from the sidewalk) …but I was nearly hit by a speeding black sedan (who clearly had zero intention of slowing down) in the second lane when the first lane let me cross. I got across scared and out of breath, but otherwise unscathed.
I got off the I-Ride Trolley (Trolley 26, Red-North) sometime after watching the driver physically attacking a panhandling passenger (he was short 4 quarters) – by literally SMACKING HIS HAND AWAY AS HE TRIED TO PAY!! After shouting at him the entire time about “I need to move here! Either pay or GET OFF MY TROLLEY!”
“Is you alright? You seem a bit mad?”
The driver (yes, the same one from this post) then angrily unbuckled his seatbelt and tried to physically remove him which he was blocked from doing by said passenger and then got on the radio to report an “assault” but it was snatched away from him by the passenger at the last minute shouting “you got no fucking right to touch me!”
“Such vulgar language,” the old woman who gave him said change bristled. “That is not how one speaks in public.”
“Yeah,” a blonde-haired man in the back of the bus shouted standing up to defend the defenseless driver. “That is no way to treat a bus driver!”
“Is that a threat, boy? Well, you better check yo-self before I kick both y’awl’s pussy asses. I break them glasses clear off yo face! Here, take yo change back,” the old woman looks at him confusedly. “He don’t want it. Go ahead, take it.”
“I SAID ‘GET THE HELL OFF MY TROLLEY!’ Dispatch we got-“
“Don’t you dare try to ‘port me for yo shit! I can see you already lost some yo-teeth. I’ll fuckin’ knock the rest of them out for you! Fuck BOTH y’awl pussy asses! Hell, all y’awl are pussy asses! I check all y’awl’s asses! I check people like you 24/7! Fuck you. I outta here.”
“Dispatch, this is 26. I’d like to report an assault on a driver…”
“Did you want to wait for a sheriff?”
“Hell yeah, I’ll testify,” the blonde-man shouted.
“Yes,” the old lady agreed, “such rude behavior should not be tolerated in public.”
“No, he’s already, um, across I-Drive. You’ll never find him.”
We then continue the route unabated, though his mood was clearly soured… by a couple of confused tourists who were trying to get on the stop before meeting the passenger in this story. Anyway, I got to my destination further rattled… but still unscathed.
I feel kinda bad for the people I met the rest of the evening as I was probably a bit edgy when I was dealing with them. Fortunately, the ride back (Trolley 31, Red-South) was much more pleasant with a friendly driver – who had at least three passengers as if they were allowed to leave “tips.” (!)
I don’t have any clever final thoughts, but I got back safely so there’s that…