Yesterday I was speedily crossing a busy street, daring the blinking red hand in the sign in front of me, when the blinking red hand became a solid red hand. My speedy walk turned into a scurry, and at that time, I noticed the old lady with the walker walking across the same street, with the same solid red hand staring at her, a car rushing towards her. She took two tiny steps with each forward push of her walker, between each of the two tiny steps a lingering two seconds, and between each push of her walker and the next pair of steps, a lifetime.
The car continued to barrel towards her. My southern manners kicked in, and I abruptly stopped running, turned around, and approached the frail woman with the walker.
"Ma'am? Can I help you?" I said as sweetly as possible with the ever-looming car in my peripheral vision. But instead of hearing the expected thin, cracking voice of an old, tired woman, my hospitality was met with a high-pitched, nasally, and very...VERY loud voice, spoken with the best of New York accents (of which I will spare you in my writing),
"No! NO! GO ON! GO ON! GET OUTA' HERE!!" She miraculously moved one hand from the handle of her walker and waved me away.
"Ok, ok! I'm goin'!" I ran out of the middle of the street and walked the long avenue block toward my friend's apartment. As I reached the end of the block, I looked behind me to observe the situation. The old woman was only three-quarters of the way across the street. Push. (Wait) step...step. (Wait) Push. (Wait) step...step.
That'll teach me to help old ladies cross the street. I mean, what was I thinking? How RUDE of me.