Sometimes it seems my entire life has happened on a certain road - part of a long stretch of pavement that runs from coast to coast. Most of the places I've worked and gone to school, and everywhere I've ever called home can be reached by using it. So since I live just a little suburb away from the one where I work, my drive to the library takes about 15 minutes, even under the worst driving conditions.
The library is open each Sunday afternoon during the winter and yesterday was my turn to hold court in the reference department. (I don't mind giving up a bit of my weekend afternoon - it's an easy four hours and I get paid time and a half. ) On my way there, I was congratulating myself for being on time, enjoying the rare warm sunshine, and thinking about trying my mom's homemade soup after work. I switched on my left turn signal and stopped in the intersection, waiting for either a break in traffic or the green arrow to allow me to proceed. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a dark blue van coming up behind me, much too fast.
I heard his tires squeal on the pavement and then BAM! - he hit me. My car was pushed forward and then BAM! - he hit me again. I remember yelling something like, "Are you f*@%ing kidding me!?" I couldn't believe he hit me twice.
I looked up and saw that I still had the green arrow, so I turned left and pulled over. I put my hazard lights on and in my rearview mirror, I watched the van drive away...and that's when I got angry. I jumped out of my car and ran to the intersection, yelling, "Damn it, where is he? F*@%ing @$hole! Where the f*@% did he GO!?" There were witnesses everywhere - punks skateboarding in the parking lot, another librarian on her way to work, people at the gas station across the street - all of whom probably now think that I am a whirling dervish of foul language and fury.
As I was standing on the corner hollering like a madwoman, a man across the street pointed to something laying in the road - the van's license plate! I waited for a break in traffic and dashed out to claim it. "Haha!" I thought. "I've got you now, you son of a..."
The police arrived. Probably a good thing, too - I had just learned that the man in the van was hiding behind the bank across the street.
I finally noticed the damage. My hands started shaking. I made a report* (he hit me twice!) and gave the patrolman the license plate. My coworker and a man on the street came over to say they saw the whole event. I saw another police car pull over a dark van with no front plate. "That's him!" I told the patrolman. Lights and sirens. Yes, it was him.
The man was arrested on five charges and bonded out before I was even done with my shift at the library.
I was jumpy and gun-shy as I slowly rattled my way home.
*btw, when the patrolman ran my driver license and saw I had a CCW, he seemed quite pleased and supportive. So hooray for that, I guess.