Into Traffic


There is a street and on it the traffic is intense. Cars, Vespas, three-wheeled Apes zipping along, people passing on foot. Oblivious toward me, but not blind. They know I am there, they can see me through the window of the backseat of the car in which I am sitting parked along the curb. A passenger, safe and secure. But also a prisoner, who must, if I am to walk amongst them, open my door and step out.

The street is in a busy part of the town and there are rules in place for this kind thing, exiting a vehicle. Rules, like the one I included above, that place value on safety over haste, caution over chance, reservation over embarrassment. Departing, or in my case, entering the world outside of the refuge Iā€™ve found in the car is made safer, priva di qualsiasi rischio e pericolo, free from any risk or danger, if made through the right side door, the one nearest to the sidewalk and opposite the problematic traffic. L'apertura della portiera di destra.

I know this because number one, it makes the most sense to any seasoned driver and/or parent, and two, I recently failed the Italian license exam by answering that question incorrectly. The reason I did so was partly because I do not have a firm grasp of the language. I have hold of it like a toddler to the hand of a parent. I can see the world beyond, the potential in it, but like that busy, frenzied street, I fear it, too. I am threatened by what it asks of me, by its fluency, its flow. Iā€™m unsure of letting go of the hand. I worry of what might occur if I am on my own.

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