Because they wanted to

I know I’m in a dismal mood when I reread books I’ve read countless times. Tonight I read several Mary Gaitskill stories after work. I’m not sure if they make me feel comforted in their familiarity and general stunningness or if her accurate descriptions of the shifts and shivers that take place between people only heighten the sadness that’s weighed me down all day.

This morning, I nearly got hit by a car when I was crossing Main Street just outside of the Kendall T stop. Totally my fault: people jaywalk at that light every day, the sheer force of pedestrians rushing to work forcing cars to stop at the green light. I don’t usually demand the right of way like that unless I’m part of a crowd of scofflaws; I figure that if the car had to stop anyway, I might as well float fishlike within the school of commuters. Today I misjudged when I followed two guys across the street. The car was going faster than it should have been — still, I was in the wrong. But the driver wasn’t going to slow down or stop until it absolutely had to, and it braked just inches from me as I crossed. A flabby guy in a red polo shirt threw his arm out toward me and shouted, “Watch it! You damn idiot!” I didn’t want his protection and kept looking straight ahead as I stepped onto the safety of the sidewalk. But his words rang in my ears for the rest of the morning, making me feel much worse than I already felt.

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