Saturday, January 09, 2010


I hear the scree of brakes and in the long 30th of a second before the crash, I anticipate it; I live through the long crushing grind six times before it happens, and it doesn't help, it goes right through my teeth and shakes my bones.

A cab has t-boned an airport shuttle, the nose of the cab peeled right back, skinned like a fresh kill, naked innards shoved under the side of the airporter, obscene and intimate. I cross the street at the light, coming closer to the accident, and see five people raise cell phone to ear, almost in unison, one-two-three-four-five.

I seem to be walking through sludge, everything slowed down, it takes an age to cross the street, turn left, walk the half-block toward the scene, glass glittering across the road, sprayed out from under the shuttle bus.

The cabbie is sitting very straight in his car, looking out through the windshield. A man with suitcases is out in the street, turning around, a bag in each hand. He turns and looks, turns and looks, like the answer is hiding just over his shoulder.

Someone opens the cabbie's door, but he doesn't move. He stares straight ahead.

Traffic is clotting in the street. It's a weekday, people are on their way to work. Someone honks, then honks again.

I look one more time over my shoulder as I walk. The cabbie still sits in his car, the man on the street turning and turning, but the rest of us have to get on with our day.


Kurt Hendricks said...

I love the last sentence. Reminds me a little of the traffic reports you might hear on the radio: "Injury accident on the highway, traffic's all backed up, so you might want to find another route to work". Such a sad callousness dictated by a busy society.

Anonymous said...

Pretty interesting place you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. BTW, why don't you change design :).

Anonymous said...

It is said in certain circles that every prayer is heard. And if one were to pray for those who have been injured, but still cling to life -- that slow meting out of teaspoons of coffee every day, that slow grinding of work and fatigue to pay for the food that goes into the body so that some times it can achieve a lightness of being it usually forgets even to imagine -- and the flow of life can continue.

Not cynical. Not an end. Not a hardness. But a regret and an acknowledgment that there is a simultaneity of life: as the bud bursts into bloom, another stem sheds its final petals.

For you ma belle, un petit baiser of a prayer.

Chemical Billy said...

Kurt - thanks! It was also a shameless reference to the Robert Frost poem Out Out-

Ma belle, baisers back to you.