That was awful

I just came so close to getting hit by a car that I’m considering giving up bicycle commuting.

I am one of the safest cyclists I know. I wear bright colors. I ride with traffic. I signal. I always have my lights on. I wear a helmet. I respect traffic lights and signs. Even my commute is pretty safe, residential and then downtown. Lots of stop signs and stop lights, no stretches where anyone can really pick up much speed.

On my way home, just now, just 15 minutes ago, I approached an intersection with a two way stop. I had a stop sign, the driver across from me had a stop sign, and cross traffic didn’t have to stop. I checked for oncoming traffic from either direction, then proceeded to cross.

The driver, in a silver honda, looked left, looked right, and pulled out a little into the intersection. I stared into the windshield trying to make eye contact to make sure I was seen.

I watched the driver look left and right and left again, inching out the way you do in these residential neighborhoods when it’s a little hard to see past parked cars. But while looking right and left, the driver never looked straight ahead to see me, not fifteen feet from the front bumper.

I saw that moment of decision, that instance when you go from creeping out into the intersection to when you decide you’re clear to go, and I watched the bumper get closer to me, wondering in that instant if I’d be completely broadsided or if the car would just hit my back wheel. Calculating our speed, I thought to myself this is probably going to hurt a lot, but it’s very unlikely you will actually die.

My finger fumbled for my bell–it’s pretty loud–and in the meantime I let out the shrillest, loudest, longest scream of my life. I shrieked with every effort, I screeched like I was in a horror movie, hoping the driver would hear me and it would trigger a reflex to hit the brakes.

I veered to the right, and finally made eye contact with the driver, who seemed a little startled, and looked quizzically at me, but, having missed hitting me by just a few feet, continued down the road.

I vibrated with adrenaline and my legs felt noodley. I considered walking the few blocks home, but even though my legs were shaky, they still seemed to be able to pedal.

I got home and promptly poured myself a whiskey. Chris isn’t home to tell my story to, so I’m writing a blog post. My throat still hurts from screaming.

That was awful.

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On being a vegetarian

On Thursday someone asked me if I am a vegetarian, and she seemed a little surprised when I said yes. This happens to me from time to time.

And on the one hand, I’m always a little happy when that happens. Sometimes I get on a (tiny) soap box about eating meat. I mean, I don’t run around with pamphlets or anything, but if the topic comes up, I won’t shy away from sharing my thoughts on why it’s pretty gross.

I get the most riled up about chickens (they have the worst lives, get dipped in chlorine before you eat them, and are the most fleshy, you know? Like when you’re eating chicken, it feels the most like you’re eating a body part.) and about pigs (because they are so smart, eating a pig is like eating a dog. Sick.).

My point is that I worry about being a little off-putting, and so it makes me happy when someone I have known for a while doesn’t even know I’m a vegetarian, much less think I’m “militant” (hate that word) or evangelical about it.

But on the other hand, I want to be (a little) loud and proud. Being a vegetarian is empirically better than being an omnivore. And it’s so normal to me now, I sort of just assume people don’t eat meat until I see them doing otherwise, and then I’m a little surprised.

I have previously expressed my opinions on this matter a bit more elegantly

Blah blah blah. I think Daylight Saving Time is dumb. Primarily because I’m tired of listening to people say the same thing over an over about it. Oh you’re tired? Because you ‘lost’ an hour? But you like that it’s light later? Your phone updated itself? Do tell.

And consider this fair warning that if you tell me something is happening at 7 pm Mountain Standard Time this summer I’m going to squint at you real hard and ask if you live in Arizona.

Whoa. Sorry. I’m really grumpy right now. Possibly because after not going since January, I went to yoga yesterday and¬†today and now it feels like my shoulders are going to fall off.