today i was honked at by a passing bicycle… wait, what?
yes, today i was honked at by a passing bicycle. attempting to cross the street at a crosswalk that is ever so cleverly without a pedestrian signal, i stepped off the curb to stealthily slither between the front and back bumper of two stopped cars, waiting or a traffic signal to change a block ahead, when i heard a sound i am not sure how to assign letters to. it did not resemble a word – or a “honk”, the lovely english language onomatopoeia for the sound of a vehicle’s horn.
this was french onomatopoeia. it was the sound of a french biycyle honking, or – the sound of a honking cyclist, to be more exactly precise.
ask the important question with me: did it work?
heck yes! this cyclist was no easy-peddling-i-have-all-afternoon-to-arrive parisian. she was a maillot-jaune kinda broad – she was racing! – she was escaping! – she was on her way – she was worthy of a dr. seuss rhyme: wizz-wizz-wizz go the spokes on my bike, i’m late for a date with my handsome friend mike! i had a baguette sandwich before i left the house – but the calories i’m burning will keep me thinner than a mouse! [i know, i know. mouses aren’t thin. but they sure are cute!]
this woman, in short, knew how to move & she knew how to signal her presence, to clear her path, to save herself… and me… from stupid pedestrianism.
should it be ironical that i was honked at by a mouth on my way to a french phonetics exam? were the sounds i produced on tape as functional or as riveting as that unconfusable signal to STEP BACK…? will the sounds i slowly perfect, with their bookish or street-wise rhythms ever serve the purpose of creating or preserving the ever j-walked pathways of communication they are meant to give me access to?