Louisville: The Corner of Baxter and Highland Avenues
Notes on crazy drivers, pedestrian dangers, Sixty Minutes, terrorists, Al-Qaeda, and Louisville bullies
The woman complains about attitudes. The husband forces the issue. They make a good pair, these two, walking together down (or is it up?) Baxter Avenue. They are leisurely walking, kind of strolling on the sidewalk toward the river, against oncoming traffic, just as they were taught to do as kids. The woman says they drive too fast. The man must agree with her, as anyone can plainly see the speed in which they pass. Back, a mere minute ago, at the corner of Grinstead and Baxter Avenue the woman had remarked that it is so dangerous to cross because of these inconsiderate and speeding vehicles. Even with a crosswalk and pedestrian signs the vehicles ignore the walkers. It is something like dodge ball, the couple remembers. They pass the ugly Walgreens store on their left and the Starbucks on the corner. It is Sunday and traffic is only on Baxter Avenue. Except for the lone rushing glob of heavy metal racing toward them on Highland Avenue, coming up from Barret Avenue, coming up from the direction of downtown Louisville. The couple are in the middle of the crosswalk, heading for the evil Chase Bank across the street, and this now speeding bullet will make a bulls eye if it doesn't slow down. The man turns to face the oncoming car. He spreads his arms out wide to indicate to the driver to slow down and slow down fast. The driver doesn't exactly squeal to a stop but the abruptness of his sudden pause is remarkable. The driver motions almost frantically with his hands to cross, cross, cross the fucking street people and get out of my way. The husband doesn't stop there though. He decides to demonstrate more motions of his own, additional signs with his hands, and yells at the driver to slow the fuck down, that there isn't any purpose in his driving this fast. Obviously the driver has his window down. The car lurches forward, its tires squealing now to make the driver's bully point. The husband stands his ground and insists the driver wait for them to cross, to be polite and courteous as he should be. The car pulls up to the crosswalk and the driver yells at the man that he has had a bad day; that he will kill him. The husband has already turned his back on the driver but when he hears this obscene threat he suddenly turns around to encourage the driver to come on, the husband's words to be taken as to come my way, to get out of your stupid car and come kill me. But all the husband really says are the two words come on, which the wife hears as being too confrontational. The driver speeds away, turning right on Baxter Avenue, continuing on with his purpose for speeding, obviously deciding not to kill the husband, but still doing something about his very bad day. The couple continue down Baxter Avenue against the oncoming traffic. They continue to follow the rules. They wish others did, or if not, at least they could be courteous and drive safely. The wife is very mad at her husband for confronting the asshole in the way he did. The husband defends his behavior against the bully, his behavior a now ancient vow he made ever since a gang of boys in high school consistently terrorized his buddy Phil when they caught him walking alone in the halls between classes. The husband will never back down from a fight. The man protects the innocent as best he can. The man hates bullies of every stripe. The woman is frightened and threatens her husband that she will never take a walk with him again. The man suggests she not, as he will never change. Later that night on Sixty Minutes the husband watches an interview with an FBI agent describing his interrogation of a very bad Al-Qaeda operative. The agent is trying to get information by way of making friends with the terrorist while he eats his supper. The terrorist claims he hates the agent and would kill him if he had the chance. The agent hands the terrorist the blade from his knife, fork, and spoon set resting next to his plate and tells him to do it. Of course the coward doesn't, the husband says, as all bullies are big talkers and never do what they say they will do when their backs are up against the wall. The husband offers his wife the example of the Sixty Minutes interview as an analogy for the couple's experience together earlier in the day. The wife does not respond, which in her silence means she could not disagree, but would never encourage the thing that he did, which in her eyes was to put her life in danger. But there is no more talk about the Baxter Avenue incident other than the mutual knowledge of the continued daily assault by vehicles on pedestrians that seemingly will have no end until somebody besides her husband does something serious about it.
- mewlhouse on HubPages
M Sarki was born in East Tawas, Michigan in 1953. Besides being a poet with four collections published, Sarki is a painter and photographer. He...