This was a definite no-reboot kinda thing. Up at 72nd street, someone plowed into me from behind full force, as I stood at the edge of the street waiting for the light to change. It was about to change, so I was getting ready to bolt ahead of the tightly packed crowd to my left. A delivery truck decided to gun it to beat the yellow at nearly precisely the same moment I got tackled from behind. It felt like someone took a running kick at my backpack. It knocked me off the edge of the curb, and I was pretty much falling forward, right into the path of the aforementioned oncoming truck. There was a moment of pure white terror when I tried vainly to catch the driver's eye, but he was already looking out towards the next yellow, to judge if he could make it. If my hand hadn't caught the wrought-iron fence, at the last second, I would have certainly been grill meat. As it was, the bottom of the driver's sideview mirror almost took my nose off.
I saw red. The adrenaline rush was like a shot of heat through my entire circulatory system in a nanosecond. I wanted to tear the face off whoever just nailed me in the back. I turned around ready annihilate whoever the idiot was, and was surprised to see a woman on the ground. She was a slightly pudgy woman, brunette with a bad dye job, and an even worse hat. She was probably in her late forties, dressing like she was in her early thirties (which is to say, trying to look like the last few minutes of her late 20's). She had clearly totally eaten shit on the icy patch just to her right, judging by her garb and minor injuries. I wanted to kick her in the face, but instead helped her up. I wanted to scream at her, but instead I forced myself to just stay silent. Her black-leather gloves were scraped up, like her knees, and her beige knee-length too-tight skirt was split and stained with muddy salt goo.
She was one of the types who carries around a small cosmetics counter in her bag, which had exploded when she did a full on plow-tackle. It would not surprise me if she was actually applying makeup when she hit the ice. There was product all over the sidewalk, which she hurriedly stooped to collect as people started moving around us. Instead of cursing her out, I bent over to help her pick up some of the crap, as the rest of the commuter crowd filtered their way past the island of chaos in their way.
When I went to hand her a container of lipgloss (I think) I noticed how bad my hand was shaking. I was still angry, and scared, but here I was helping this dumb woman out. I still hadn't said anything, neither had she. The silence was like broken glass on the kitchen floor, waiting for bare feet.
When the last little bottle of crap was back in the ravenous maw of her beige Calvin Klein purse, she finally looked me int he face, as she brushed her gloves off, and in a surprisingly Bronx-accented voice, she thanked me.
"If ya hadn'ta been there, I probably woulda ended up under that truck."
I kinda chuckled, nodded, asked if she was O.K., which she dismissed with a wave of the gloved hands.
I went on my way. I have nail marks in my left palm from the fist I made when I turned around, which are really annoying as I type.
How was your commute today?