Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All 4 senses

Riding shotgun and coming back from a pleasant river walk with my mom, our large Toyota van maneuvered through the parking lot, waiting to turn right out of the parking lot. (Only Americans drive to a path to walk and get their exercise, then drive back home to eat supper.)   It was a busy Tuesday, and I had my window open, my eyes half closed. I heard the whistle of the breeze and the vrooom of engines.  I could smell the fresh air, and feel the sun on my face; see the clouds peeled back to reveal an endless blue dome. 4 out of 5 senses - not bad.
Finally out on the highway.  The weather was surreal on the 17th of May, and I was lovin' it.  I almost didn't hear the huge boom and screech behind us as we turned again to the left.  Apparently it was jolting enough to knock me out of my bubble, and I glanced out my large window.  The screeching continued as I stared at a small black car smashing in under the push of a slowing Mac truck hulling dirt.  In a low, strained voice, my mom offered an, "Oh dear!", and, ironically, pulled into a used car lot.  A package of lettuce tumbled out of the our shopping bag and onto the floor from our quick stop at the store. 
"Don't look!" said my mother, stopping beside an obnoxiously yellow car.  Before her correcting instruction, I managed to see, and smell, the scene.  The small, black car had been hit broadside at about 30-40 mph by the hulking, rusty red and dirty grey truck - probably for the construction going on down the road - and pushed in until the vehicle complied to it's driver's desperate flooring on the break.  I couldn't even see half the car, and the heat of burned rubber wafted in my nostrils; tires were pulled clean away from the axles.  I looked away.  Now aware that such a major accident could, indeed, contain a bit of gore.  A man bolted through the doors of the building ahead of us, which were covered with bright and apoplectic adds of loans and amazing deals.
For a whole 4 seconds, we sat.  60 seconds before, I had been thinking of what to put on my blog next.  (Now, the last thing on my mind was the stupid blog.)  Mom glanced back and breathed, "it's OK." 
"Do you have a phone?" I asked.
"Someone has probably already called, but I can too."  I wasn't surprised that police cars were coming in already.

Very much like the one we saw.
 Half the car was crumpled beyond recognition, and the hubs were recessed far back into the drivers side.   It reminded me of pushing down the lever on a can crusher before dropping the fractured hunk into the recyclable bin.  Bye-bye tin can. 
I prayed.  There were 2 unscathed persons outside, and walking toward the grassy curb.  I fingered the seat belt across my chest and lap.  1, 2... 3, 4 outside.  No one in the truck's driving seat, so probably 3 were originally in the car.  I just kept looking at the people on the curb, standing and talking with each other, and wondering just how they got out alive, much less with no apparent physical injury, although I'm sure they will be treated for shock.
"I'm really shaken up!  I think everything is alright though," my mom said.  We drove past the car lot, and I heard the blaring radio in one of the parked cars for sale.
"We have the cars; we have the money!..." spilled the smooth, mechanical, optimistic male voice.  If nothing made me sick before then, that did it.  I tasted a yucky sensation in my mouth. 
   "Sure!  Lets get a nice car and a bunch of money, because that seams to be all that matters here.  (Aren't we good at deceiving ourselves?)  But you may not have been warned that you can loose it all in one second, and then your car may be completely worthless if your not into selling scrap metal, or your relatives just might fight over who gets your moola. (Hear the sarcasm hissing out of my keyboard as I write), But don't let the sounds of it fool you, fellow Americans, because it really is the greatest thing that could happen to you!  Now who wouldn't want that?"
After driving out of sight of the accident, and down another road, I looked at the people in the four-wheeled contraptions going by us.  They still didn't know, did they?  They probably had no idea that 4 out of 5 senses were used in witnessing a nasty accident, did they?  And most probably didn't know where they were going after they died, and had a small perception on how quickly it could happen.  I asked myself -
what am I going to do about that?

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