there must be something wrong with how i walk through parking lots because for the second time in a year, i was hit by a car in one. the first time was a middle aged woman, more interested in spotting open spaces than pedestrians. i'm walking pretty fast, too fast to stop myself once noting - oh shit - that car ain't stopping, so i end up getting hit in the knee midstride, as the car keeps moving. now, i'm pretty convinced that even while she didn't see me before hitting my knee, she did see me afterward and decided to resume looking for a space. it happened that it was her front quarterpanel that hit my knee, the car slows suddenly, then continues rolling slowly so that as i stop short and my body weight flops forward, i'm now over her trunk. i decide to punch the trunk. hard. to make a loud noise.
that's when she flies into the famous new jersey rage, stops her car and gets out to yammer something about a bitch damaging her car. i'm like, seriously, you hit someone with your car and threaten them? she lunges at me but somehow after getting the shit scared out of me by a moving car, i was unmoved. then she's all - you stay right here, bitch, i'm calling the cops - and i'm like, sure thing, will do. i'm at a fucking walmart, so there are no fewer than 12 cameras trained on our section of the parking lot. i gesture to them and note that my knee is starting to really hurt. i'm lying but i'm making a point. my knee got bruised at worst, and even if i was hurt adrenaline would erase the sensation of it anyway. but shit, i'm still amazed at this woman's ability to turn the shit around. at this point i can tell that she knows she hit me. she knows i'm not bluffing or faking, but heard the impact, it's obvious. care? nope, not one bit. she looks at the cameras, gets a look on her face like someone just explained something to her for like the 18th time, jumps in her car and speeds off. i go about my walmarting.
this time it was in another lot. i walk behind a car, whose vapid little twit 20-something driver with a pink hair streak apparently saw another car exiting a space and in order not to miss the opportunity - no other cars were looking for spots by the way - throws it in reverse and backs right into me. my other knee, incidentally. i don't punch the trunk, i instead use that hand to press myself up so as not to be knocked over and actually run over. for like 5 seconds, which is a long time when a car is backing into you, the car keeps rolling and i start to slip and wonder if i will actually fall under the car. i scream, the best way i know how to make noise, eventually the car stops. the twit waves at me through her mirror, you know like you do when you accidentally cut someone off and you're like "oh sorry, my bad," because you didn't mean it. that suffices when you hit someone, right? that's when i became an expert on the etiquette of hitting someone with your car. i walk around to the passenger side - not sure why i went to that side - and she's still waving like "ha ha, so sorry..." i jam my finger in her direction and shout "YOU - YOU just hit me with your mutherfucking car!" the waving becomes slightly more animated, the other hand is brought in, so it's a two handed wave now, a larger mea culpa, but still insufficient. i instruct her to roll down her "dumb ass motherfucking window," which she does, in slow motion, using one finger on the button. i instruct her "when you hit someone with your fucking car, you stop, roll down your window and THEN say you're sorry." she obliges. "i'm sorry." i nod in agreement. that's when it gets awkward because we both realize that there really isn't anything more to say. i'm obviously not injured since i can stand there giving lessons in manners, she can't say anything more. so... i pause, she pauses, i straighten my shirt, "well alright," and i walk to my car, remembering that something similar happened kinda recently. like, recently in the world of getting hit by a car, right? and not getting injured. i notice that some people had started to gather, looking like they were gonna yell at her but realized i already took care of that and awkwardly dispersed. as i start my car, i think of my next line. i should tell her she shouldn't be driving! i should say she's too stupid to drive! yeah that's it! which is arguably more witty and thought provoking than anyone has ever been in a car-related dispute, and i was actually gonna say it, it really seemed that smart to me, but i couldn't see the twit. i decided that the retort wasn't worth getting out of the car to look for her, so i drove to the thrift store, deciding that was a good call.
later that night i told my daughter about it. "i was hit by a car again today."
"yeah, i heard. bravo."