I have strong feelings about people who won’t admit they are wrong, people who say the sky is blue, when any fool will agree that it is raining cats and dogs. It’s a real moral imperative to me to come forth willingly, even cheerfully, to say that something is my fault, and I take great pride in telling anyone who will listen that I always admit it when I am wrong. Is half wrong okay? This case of mine has so many ramifications. Civil rights of more than one kind are closely involved when you gt to looking at it, not to mention the extreme weariness that dancing at wedding after wedding has caused. And whose fault is that?
Getting down to cases then, I was backing out of a parking spot at the Rite Aid Pharmacy in my brand new, bright blue, four-door Ford Focus. I did not realize that I was parked at a bit of a slant (is that my fault?) so that before I had a chance to turn in the lane, I bumped into the parking strip.
(Have I mentioned that I still had to buy a lot of cheese and crackers at Annutto’s for my share of the dinner I would be attending last night after an afternoon of bridge? Perhaps not.)
There I was, not so much into as onto the parking strip, admittedly three or four inches high. Thinking to go back where I came from I shifted into drive, making an ugly metallic noise, and, just beginning feel a bit of concern about my situation, decided I should shift back into reverse while steering in such a way as to go straight again.
(Clearly, I was still using my head, and I don’t really see any harm in that.)
But the car stalled at first as I pressed harder on the accelerator, so I applied more pressure causing the car to shoot right off that parking strip in a kind of jump move.
It was then that I heard the first STOP! And I tried to, honestly I did. But you get the picture. This guy is yelling STOP! as if I had a gun pressed to his head.
And that was not the only STOP! It was over and over again for as long as it took for me to shoot across the traffic lane to his parking spot. I should mention that I didn’t just sit there idle while my Focus shot and he yelled, but that I tried to steer somewhere safe while searching in vain for the brake. Then there was the crash, the yeller shouted FUCK! And don’t forget, I am an old lady.
He said, I told you to stop.
And I said I tried to stop. I said I don’t blame you for being angry. I told him it was my fault. I told him that of course I had insurance, and I didn’t forget to tell him that no matter how delighted he seemed to think I was that I had run into him, I had not actually wanted this to happen.
Then we waited for the policeman to come. I thought his constant yelling had something to do with the crash. How could I think clearly with such an emotional display going on behind me. While we waited, he spent his time on a cell phone. He must have talked to one person for ten minutes, and guess what language he was speaking. You are right; it was Spanish. He was Latino. On the other hand, just look how he treated me–a woman, a grandmother.If he is going to charge me with being a woman and a grandmother, why can’t I charge him with being Latino.
It’s all out of my control now, of course. The police have the report. The insurance company knows it was my fault. I’ll go along with that, but no matter how it looks to the world, I say that in my heart I will only admit to half wrong, and will also admit to a new moral problem, the sin of hypocricy.