I don't know if the driver was on a cell phone.
I do know that I never heard the car coming.
Yesterday, knowing that I was a bit distracted by a stoveful of boiling pots, I waited to cross busy Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, waited even though the walk light was still flashing. Another 30 seconds isn't going to make a difference, said the inside voice to the legs. When the countdown started again (30 secs to cross), I set out and immediately noticed a strange, shoeless man approaching me.
It was a gamble: wait for the light for the opposite street to change or deal with the shoeless man. Better veer off, I thought, and conscious that I was being careful, I then crossed the small perpendicular Sterling Place against the light.
As people say about such situations, it came out of nowhere. I felt the bump on first, then realized that I'd been nicked. By a speeding red car. Whose side mirror grazed my hip.
"You were jaywalking," a man barked.
"Hit and run," a more compassionate woman on the sidewalk shrieked. "They didn't even stop." She was holding her head and continued to scream.
Perhaps the driver heard her, I'm not sure, because the car screeched and pulled over.
It took me a few seconds to get out of the street. I began to approach the red car but as I did, it took off.
I noticed the shoeless man on the opposite corner. He was watching--me in the street, the car, the people screaming...and if I'm any judge of expression, he looked very concerned. Harmless, I'm certain...and I wasn't harmed. Just a small black and blue on my hip.
Be careful, friends.