Stopping traffic

I remember trying to approach the doctor at the hospital with a bit of a sense of humor when he asked me how I was feeling and I replied, “Well I’m a bit glad I’ve lived 23 years up until now without having gotten hit by a car.”

Really, I was, no am, remarkably lucky to have been hit a by a car with little more than a few scratches.

I can’t even blame myself for any of what happened that Thursday morning because it wasn’t my fault. I was merely at the crosswalk, crossing the street, with the right of way and all of the other cars stopped except the taxi to my right side. Yes, he was stopping, but he didn’t stop soon enough and there I went flying upon impact as the front fender hit my right hip, setting me off balance and allowing for my life to briefly flash before my eyes.

I didn’t black out, start crying, scream, or get up right away.

I took a couple of seconds to just stare at my bleeding wrist, elbow, and knee. I picked up my sandal that fell off and replaced it, before I began to push myself up, wincing at the pain in my left elbow and wrist, and began to hobble to the other side of the street, where the sidewalk was.

People stopped. They got out of their cars. There were streams of rapid fire Hebrew rushing around my ears and making me dizzy.

A man that didn’t hit me with his car walked over and started asking me questions in Hebrew to which I replied, “I don’t really know very much Hebrew…I’m okay…I just want to go home.”

“He will take you home,” the man answered, motioning to the guilty taxi driver who swaggered over in his half-buttoned plaid shirt and aviator sunglasses. Of course he would, I grimaced.

The taxi driver didn’t say too much to me or look at me for very long.

He asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital and if I would give him my insurance which to both I said no.

When I sat down in his car, behind a rambling and whining old woman with a squealing voice, he told me accusingly that it was my fault that I got hit and I should have been more careful.

I said nothing, gritting my teeth as he started the car and once it started rolling down the old woman’s destination—of course he dropped her off first!—I could no longer stop myself from bursting into tears.

My sunglasses hid my eyes and my mouth didn’t move as I just cradled my aching left arm in my right one and let the tears run down my face.

It’s scary enough to be hit by a car in general (I would assume, I don’t have previous experiences) but to be hit by one in a foreign country is extremely scary.

Barely two days later, I’m just beginning to once again feel like myself and nothing short of grateful for my minimal bodily damage. Yes, I’m sore, bruised, and a bit banged up but considering how bad it could have been, I have no complaints in the world.

Let this post not be an excuse for me to feel sorry for myself but a reminder that life is precious and waiting an extra few minutes to make sure that a car comes to a complete stop will be more than worth it in the end.

About the Author
Melissa Beiser has a bachelor's degree from SUNY New Paltz in English and creative writing. She hails from New York originally and recently relocated to Arizona with her family. Teaching English in Beersheba is her first experience living abroad.