Through years of prior MRIs my wife and I chose various minor celebrations after meeting with my neuro-oncologist. A meal or a movie, though not extremely irregular for most, were slightly out of the ordinary for our often stingy, minimalist lifestyle. This particular day, the time made an impromptu late afternoon lunch appropriate. We'd heard good things about the sandwiches, conveniently for us, at a shop near the Doctor's office.
After ordering we elected to wait outside of the tiny shop. Heat from both the beginning of LA's extended summer coupled with the time of day, past midday at that point, to make the prospect of the confined space seem unappealing. Instead we chose to increase freedom and air flow. We moved outside to wait. The shop's location positioned us on a busier street near a fancy area. That location equated to generally nicer vehicles and more of them.
Various cars passed both ways along the street providing plenty to watch as we awaited our food. Specifically, we witnessed one car traveling fast, right to left from our perspective. The speeding car slowed ever so slightly to make a right turn down a side street. Of course the car didn't use a blinker! (Who would signal a turn? That might INDICATE some awareness or some concern for any other people.) There are times when quick, seemingly spontaneous and unsuspecting action is best, driving is not one of those times.
At the same moment a few pedestrians began crossing the side street too. The very same street the non-indicating car intended to turn right down. How were these pedestrians to know of the driver's intention to turn without any indication?
So, crossing the street put the walkers squarely in the path, unbeknownst to them, of the speeding car. We were too far and it happened too fast to offer any warning. Left with few options, the car loudly and suddenly screeched to a halt. In doing so it avoided gruesomely colliding with the pedestrians.
However the sudden and immediate stop presented a large 2nd speeding vehicle with its own unforeseen situation. Suddenly the way ahead became blocked as the path instantly changed. Now also left with few options the 2nd vehicle swerved and loudly screeched to a halt itself. Despite the potentially disastrous confluence of 3 separate and distinct worlds, the 1st car, the pedestrians, and the 2nd vehicle, miraculously no disaster! Somehow all parties involved stayed free of harm. From our vantage we could exhale. The situation, a potentially catastrophic situation, resolved without incident...almost.
Any anger or rage from the situation could have been avoided with a decrease in speed, an increase in following distance, or the use of an INDICATOR! But, instead of carrying on, now slower and more carefully, like a decent person, the automobile in back zoomed around the 1st and slammed to a stop emphatically in front of it and perpendicular, blocking the passage forward. The driver of the perpendicular vehicle then dramatically exited and began screaming at the driver of the 1st car as we looked on in stunned silence from across the street. How dare anyone stop so quickly in front of HIM - obviously the most important person to have walked (or driven) on this Earth! Utterly unbelievable!
I thought for sure that we would now witness a road rage induced murder. Yet happily, and somewhat anticlimactically, the situation resolved without violence. The blockading driver, once empty of vitriol, simply returned back to his vehicle and drove off down the original road. With the blockade now gone the turning car simply continued with his turn to the right and disappeared down his side street. Really? Nothing at all from either after so much ado? And neither driver even aware of any other silent witnesses to the insanity.
Yet the "witnesses" included me. That morning, after years of positive MRIs, I learned that in the hopeful and growing gaps between MRIs, 6 years later, my brain cancer, without indication, absent a signal, had aggressively returned. My neuro-oncologist delivered the difficult news. Then my wife and I met with the brain surgeon to decide, within a few minutes, the best time in the coming days for me to have BRAIN SURGERY AGAIN. Our very unexpectedly long morning extended deep into, and really past, lunch time. A nearby sandwich shop we long desired trying now seemed an ideal location at this un-ideal time.
The drivers across the street had demonstrated the absolute hight of stupidity. Some of the dumbest and most inconsiderate behavior I've ever witnessed. While definitely not needed to highlight it, my morning of experiences only emphasized the drivers' stupidity. On the bright side, the situation revealed much of what I was glad to not-embody... and the usefulness of indications.