Walking home from the grocery store just now, I realized how much I value a tiny bit of civility that’s been added to my daily life in the last few years. The city (I’m assuming it’s the city) has been adding clearly marked crosswalks at locations where a need is perceived but there are no traffic lights. It’s sometimes but not always a minor intersection; there are no flashing lights, no stern demands, just a crosswalk, placed there with the hope that drivers will see someone standing at the brink of one and yield. Hey, I said it was tiny. And it’s not as if whatever I’m doing is so important that I can’t wait for a natural break in traffic. Few things in my life are that important, and most of them involve bodily functions. But it’s an opportunity. An opportunity for a driver to say, “please, go ahead, I won’t run you down...this time,” and an opportunity for me to nod or wave and in some ineffable way acknowledge the social contract between us sad-ass mortals in the midst of the violence that’s done to it every minute of the day these days. Sure, some people ignore this opportunity, usually the very young, who are still in the heady throes of realizing they don’t have to yield to ANY FUCKING BODY, and the very old, who very likely don’t even see me standing there. Anyway, it’s a pleasant little moment, so pleasant in fact that I will sometimes just cross the street, back and forth, over and over again, and while the law of diminishing returns inevitably comes into play, that has its own rewards.