It’s not April that’s the cruelest month, as T. S. Eliot so eloquently wrote in “The Waste Land”, it’s winter that is unforgiving.
Out of the unrelentingly gray landscape come drivers of behemoth vehicles making illegal U-turns on Purchase Street, backing into one-way streets for a prime parking spot — typically to fuel their desire to get out of their homes and grab a coffee, pizza, even ice cream. I ascribe it to a huge hunger for companionship that winter, which shuts us in, doesn’t afford.
On behalf of all of us non-burrowers, I urge you to stand at the entrance of any of the downtown municipal parking lots at pretty much any hour of these short grim days and raise your arm (but be ready to step to safety) as a driver (also usually cradling a cell phone) plows into the parking lot.
In the past week alone, this writer has been nearly flattened by a female driver in a hurry to get to Capital One — Making a big deposit? She entered the parking lot off Elm Place the wrong way. I glared at her, but she was dressed to kill in a racy exercise getup and on her way before I could read her the rules of the road.
The very next day, a young male driver speeding in a BMW, license plate began with “AJ”, attempting an A.J. Foyt maneuver — cruised in the wrong way, and I watched him circle around the parking lot only to leave a trail of disgruntled pedestrians in the dust.
The best of the week, however, was the father in the white SUV, coming at me while I was picking up trash in the municipal lot off Locust Avenue just after dark. He came barreling in — the wrong way — on his way to Ruby’s with two teen-age boys. The bumper sticker on his vehicle read “Penn State Dad”. What a great role model for his boys.
I guess I should consider myself lucky, because, unlike many of the other drivers who routinely break the law in downtown Rye, when I walked up to him to chastise him for nearly mowing me down he didn’t hold up his middle finger or use non-poetic language.
Like so many others, he was hungry.
Like many others, I am as weary of selfish and unruly drivers as I am of winter.
— Robin Jovanovich