I was sitting in standstill traffic on Oak, the street I live on, a narrow two-lane near downtown that has been around for hundreds of years. Traffic coming toward me was flowing smoothly, but my side was the one headed in the direction of the Interstate onramp, and a lot of people needed to get to the Interstate after the Derby Festival parade, I guess. I wasn’t in a hurry. Had my windows down, my radio up.
Out of the corner of my right eye I saw a young woman running toward the street. She was a fat girl. I say this not to make fun of her or shame her but to impress you even more with what happened next. She maybe stood 5 feet tall, and probably weighed about 300 pounds. She was heading directly toward the gap between me and the car in front of me at a full tilt.
Out of the corner of my left eye I saw a car coming toward us in the other lane doing about 60 miles an hour, which is crazy for that area, a combination of low-income residential and retail.
All of this happened way too fast for me to do or say anything.
The girl didn’t stop. The car didn’t stop.
She did manage to make it almost across the street, though. The hood of the car (it was a low-slung Mazda sportscar type dealie) caught her in the right thigh as she was almost out of its range. She did a complete head-over-heels flip in the air and landed on her hands and knees, right outside my open window. I looked at her. Then, like a Hong Kong movie protagonist, she said, “Son. Of. A. Bitch.” Stood up. And walked into the liquor store which had been her original destination, without even so much as a limp.
She was gone before I could think to say anything. It was the weirdest thing to see her flip over in the air like that.
The car, of course, didn’t stop.
Everybody else in traffic started getting out of their cars at this point and yelling, “Hey, is she all right?” to each other. Turned out there was a Sheriff’s deputy in one of the cars, so he turned his lights on and did a U-turn and pulled into the liquor store parking lot, presumably to check on her.
Life in Louisville.