… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. John Donne
Five minutes, that’s all, I don’t know why … but I know it happened.
A moment of haste
A silver car races by, changes lanes and hurtles onto the slip road. Next, it’s hard behind another car which, intimidated, moves aside in a less than graceful (dangerous?) manoeuvre.
The racer charges on down the narrowing entry to the main road. With a flash of brake lights the speedster storms through the traffic and lunges into outside lane, speed, by then excessive. Red lights flash as the vehicle slows down to avoid rear-ending a car.
I watch the show, thinking “cruising for a bruising” then “fool”.
How many times does crazy driving happen with no consequences? Today there are repercussions. For the driver it’s a few minutes out and closing. For me it takes a lot longer.
Slow and steady
I rumble along gathering speed and settle at seventy once the traffic clears. I pass a junction. About half a mile and, four minutes later, hazard lights wink on ahead. I slow to a crawl and stop.
The cars start to split either side of the carriageway. Emergency vehicles appear. A thought flits through my mind. I feel the slight emotional rush that comes from emergency events.
I saw a dead woman once in an English motorway, dead, hanging from her seat belt, her car crushed vertical to the Armco, arms dangling against a steering wheel she’d never hold again. I push the thought away … but it hovers around like a mosquito.
There but for the grace of God go I. John Bradford
The traffic police bring order and, after a while, we’re moving. Along the road I see the silver car (is the same one? The racer?). Looks like a bashed rear end. Along the road there’s a red car: smashed windscreen, wrecked body work — like a two-year-old tried bashing things into shape.
I don’t rubber neck. A little prayer for the people involved. I drive on.
Who loves you, crazy?
I check the news. Nobody injured. Fantastic. Will they learn?
A woman still dangles from her seat belt. She’s been lolling there for thirty years. Her image, my personal memorial to an unknown victim.
© Mac Logan