my guardian angel….
Oh, the rigours of being young…. It wasn’t easy, but at 53 and as I confess that I have not been overly good to my body, I wonder what it was like to move with ease, no creaking bones and aching muscles. Of course, when one has the gift of youth and a strong adult body (even the right leg must have been relatively strong), one would not even notice facile activity.
Anyway, enough rambling on… Here I will recount some lucky strikes. I can only but wonder at the escape from injury or death!
Back in 1975, when I lived with my drunken amour, and worked down Oxford Street, I had an afternoon off, so rather than go home, I thought I would go to Selfridges which was just a short walk past JJ toward Marble Arch. I was at an intersection of xxxx (I cant recall) and Oxford Street where the big store was located. The light was green, but as I was not situated bang on the corner, I crossed between cars (about 3 from the crosswalk (!)). As I almost reached the pavement I stalled. Somehow my mid-length blue trench coat had become stuck in the back bumper of the car I was passing. So I gave my coat a pull…. nothing… a bloody great yank! … Somehow the hem of my coat was well and truly wedged in that bumper. To my horror, I seemed to notice that the light had turned amber. I continued with my struggle to free my coat and in those split seconds a few thoughts went through my mind…. I could take off my coat….. I could jump on the back of the car and pound on the rear window, or I could be dragged to horrendous injury or worse. In those minute nanoseconds, I realized that I actually did not have time to take off my coat as the line of traffic had begun to move. The next thing I know I had hurled myself onto the back of this car (I have no idea what make, I believe it was big, posh and black) and pounded on the rear window. An older woman turned and with a mortified look on her face she must have instructed her chauffeur to stop the car. The uniformed man approached me. I was on my feet as thankfully the vehicle was stopped. He gave my coat a tug… nothing! Then he pried the bumper from its position tucked so tightly against the car, and finally I managed to extricate the offending corner of my coat from this car. Knowing what a polite woman I am, I am sure I thanked him. He returned to his front seat and rumbled off. I, in shock, completed my crossing to the safety of the pavement.
I entered Selfridges and immediately sought out the ladies’ loo where I entered a stall, sat shaking and sobbed. I did not accomplish my mission to Selfridges, whatever that was. I made my way home, thinking of how horribly injured I would have been if I had not managed to grab that woman’s attention. I also thanked my lucky stars that I did.