I used to like driving. There was a certain peace to it — an open road and me in complete control. Then I started driving in (and around) Indy.
This morning I was driving down 146. Now if you’re not from the area, you need to know that 146 is a fairly major artery that links all the little Northern Indianapolis suburbs — Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield, etc. I’m driving about 55, the speed of traffic, at about 8:45 this morning. The speed limit is 45, but at that speed you’re a hazard most mornings.
I’m driving along watching a lady in a red Ford Focus coming up in my rear-view mirror. Now this lady is crazy. She is weaving in and out of traffic going about 70, apparently under the mistaken impression that all hatchbacks are “hot-hatches” and should be driven like it’s rally day at the local quarry. Either that or she woke up this morning with a wish to die and a wish to die in the company of those she hit. She passes me, turning sharply, into the little gap between me and the Chevy Tahoe ahead of me in the other lane. She middle-aged and blond.
I think nothing of it. Until I see an old man with a baby stroller standing in the center turn lane about a half-mile ahead. 146 is at least 4 lanes and a turn lane basically its whole length, and this old man is crossing right in the middle of it during the morning rush. He’s made it halfway.
I’m thinking, “Don’t go. Don’t go. Don’t go,” but I’m not entirely sure what else to do. I could honk, but he’s a ways up and the last thing I want is for little miss go-go-speed-racer to turn around and look back.
He starts walking. All I see ahead of me are brake-lights. I hear tires squealing. Not just from Speedy Gonzalez but also from that Tahoe and a bunch of other vehicles. Poor miss Dale Earnhardt ended up flying down the turn lane where the man had been standing.
Oh, he made it to the other side alright, but traffic came to a complete stop. I saw the baby in the stroller was laughing when I passed by. Ignorance is bliss and all that.