For most people, I’m sure crosswalks don’t carry a lot of weight in their minds. It’s just another part of the day. Another way to get from Place A to Place B.
For me…crosswalks are one of my biggest fears. Why, you ask? Well for starters, ever since I was little, I’ve had a recurring nightmare that I fall in the middle of the street (in a crosswalk) and because I’m not able to get up off of the asphalt fast enough, I get hit by an oncoming car. Morbid, I know. A really unpleasant nightmare to be having this many years later, let me know tell you.
The thing about that nightmare though, is that it could very much be a reality. It could pretty easily happen to me. I know, the morbid meter is going higher here. Crosswalks are made of asphalt. Asphalt is often bumpy and uneven. This makes for very treacherous walking conditions. Treacherous walking conditions make the odds of my falling sky rocket. Falling means I will be on the ground with likely no way to get up unless someone is around to help me up. Being low on the ground means if I can’t get up by the time the light turns green for whichever cars are around me, they may not see me. I think you can figure out the rest…
There was one time I actually fell, not in a crosswalk, but in the middle of the street. I was crossing to go into an Albertsons and my worst fear came close to being realized. There was a car coming at me and I couldn’t get up. Thankfully they saw me and some nice people literally carried me out of the middle of the street (which was equally humiliating for me). One time in my lifetime really is pretty good odds but it was scary as hell.
So crosswalks are a bit of my nemesis you could say. I always approach them, ready to do battle. I walk slowly and carefully, never letting my eyes leave the ground should there be a rogue rock or bump in the asphalt. My heart pounds as I say a little prayer to myself that I’ll make it across safely (kind of like all those years you played Oregon Trail and hoped when you forded the river it would work out).
Don’t get me wrong, I fear a lot of the standard things too: roaches, heights, sharks in the pool (wait, what?) but crosswalks…crosswalks have an extra element of fear I hope I can one day conquer. They are after all, just pieces of ground with paint next to them. And hey, all The Beatles made it through one just fine.