I am officially a college student. Today, as I rushed home from class, I walked out into the street without checking traffic, with my hood up, and texting. The only thing I was missing was an iPod blaring music at twenty foot radius through my headphones.
As anyone who’s been on or near a university campus knows, students will, seemingly at random and without looking, cross the street. This used to frustrate me to no end before I became a student and realized that if I wait for a clear spot to cross, I would never cross.
Seriously, along my walk there’s a six-way intersection where two parallel streets have veered almost into one. Add a cross street, pedestrians, and about a million stop signs, it’s pretty crazy. So it is impossible to stand there waiting for the street to clear. (I always love seeing freshman on the first day of class. They wait at the edge of the sidewalk, checking left and right like good children. It’s quite adorable. I almost want to take their hand and walk them across.)
Anyway, it came as kind of a revelation while I was crossing the street without looking, that I routinely put my life into the hands of others. Everyday, I cross that same intersection, putting myself in the path of at least six cars. It would only take one of them running the stop sign to turn me into jelly. But I still cross and still without paying attention. Why? Because I have to get to class. Because pedestrians have the right-of-way. No, it’s because I expect them to be watching for me. It’s an attitude that college students have. I am entitled to cross the street at any given time no matter how long that car has been waiting.
I should put that sense of entitlement into a character. I’ve been thinking about how to write an immature college MC for awhile. That seems like a perfect flaw for him. And they do tell me to write what I know. Hehe.