Crash: The Authoritarian Automobile

From the mid-1990s.

I’m sitting on the bus spacing out. It’s a cold wet November morning. I’ve got a book open in my lap but I’m staring out the window. The 48’s stopped at 23rd and Union, heading towards the U–another day of office hours, teaching, trying to do research. Still waking up.

A guy in a black cap comes out of the MiniMart with a cup of coffee in his hand and a newspaper under his arm. He sees the bus and starts that funny scuttling run people do when they have their hands full and they’re trying to catch the bus. He glances right, sizing up the traffic in the opposite lanes, then to his left to see what’s closest. All clear. He scurries into the street, a sheepish grin on his face. I wonder if I should point him out to the driver. People are still climbing on; he’s not watching the street yet. I’ve been this guy dozens of times, yelling to get the driver’s attention, hoping I don’t get run over. He makes it across the southbound lanes and steps across the yellow line.
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