I have been hit by a car. Twice. I still flinch a little when I walk into a busy intersection, but I don't stand on the curb waiting endlessly. I have a certain amount of faith that the drivers of the cars to my left and to my right will follow the agreed upon norms that keep us all safe. I do not fear crossing the street. On the other hand, I do not like walking over grates. You know the kind: narrow little gaps or slots that threaten to eat me up as soon as I set foot upon them. Never mind that I have long since passed the size that would easily slip through those openings. What if I should suddenly shrink or twist or turn to make such a calamity a reality?
I'm not alone in irrational fears. I happen to know that a number of other adults continue to harbor secret worries that would sound ridiculous to others. I have a friend who harbors an all-consuming terror when it comes to bungee cords. The ones with those unforgiving metal hooks at the end, waiting to spring from their secure station and lash out viciously at unsuspecting passersby.
I understand that one. I have experienced the full-on contact of one of those wicked straps and their sinister curve of hardened steel. Right in the upper lip, and yet I come back just about every day to the back of my bike, pull the elastic tight over my backpack and for a split second, I think about how that hook is situated. Then I go about the rest of my day.
But you won't find me riding over any storm drains.