Cultural Musings · Open Letters

The Sidewalk Ghost

Dear Chicago driver,

Do you stick your head up your butt when you get in the car? It must be hard to see me when I try to cross the street legally.

Recently, I nearly was hit by a car for the fifth time.

In the past few months, it seems I contracted a debilitating condition that slowly transforms me into a chameleon. Or drivers in Chicago are simply attracted by my dashing physique and want a closer look.

The crosswalk by my apartment is the crime scene where more than half these near-collisions happened. Let me paint a picture for you: I stop. Glare at the closest car. Cross, halfway there. Glare at the farthest car that is stopping. I continue through the other half. Then the car is like, “Psych, doing a rolling stop,” and charges right at me.

Nowadays I cross stop sign intersections with my middle finger at the ready.

Ever heard of that iconic college perception that students love getting run over by cars because that equals money? Well, a car hit my friend at a crosswalk and the driver drove away with a feeble “sorry…” Three months later, the hospital bills are unpaid, the driver probably fled the country, and the police have the file crumbled with coffee stains. No one loves getting hit by a car. In Chicago, don’t expect much.

Now here’s the clincher: I get honked at for being cautious at the crosswalk. Calm yourselves Chicago drivers. Pedestrians are not traversing death road because they love making you late to your nail appointment with Satan.

– The Sidewalk Ghost

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