28 May 2015

The Accident

Saw a man running, he stopped to bounce at a traffic light continued onto the street, a speeding car — wham — hit him he went upward and landed on his back — thud, crack — the car sped up and was off, this was a hit and run. People came from everywhere running toward the runner, a few tried to get the license plate of the driver — bastard. I stood outside the market that I emerged from when I saw the accident. Didn’t need my help, not that I could have been any. Within a minute could already hear the siren. I twitched like a shell shock victim. I do that anyway from time to time probably cause of all the drugs I used to take or all the trauma in my life before things settled down and I got a job and a girl I lived with name of Alice. She’s from Taiwan I’m from Boston but live here in Berkeley where I saw the accident.

Really I was just standing there looking at the poor guy who wasn’t dead because people had checked and talked to him even though he was unconscious though a woman tending to him spoke as if he was awake saying things like “hang in there” and “help is on the way” and “you’re going to be okay” although it was impossible to say that with any degree of certainty. I twitched some more and someone asked me what had happened and I said the fella had been hit even though the driver had a red light and the guy was in the crosswalk and then the fella asked which car hit him and I said the driver just took off.

Ambulance came and you could feel like a sigh of relief from everyone there. These people would know what to do and give an accident victim the best possible chance. Everyone instinctively trusts emergency medical teams. There was a fire truck too which always seems odd on account of there not being a fire but I understand that firemen and women are really good with injured people and such.

By this time I kind of wanted a cigarette which in a way was odd considering I had quit like five years ago and my cravings were pretty much done except for right after sex sometimes which Alice and I were able to participate in again thanks to those pills that help a man keep it up truth being I’d had some trouble in that department for about six months until the doc prescribed me the pills now I’m good to go whenever Alice wants to which is fairly frequently. But so like I was saying I was craving a smoke maybe due to the kind of tension of the situation which was pretty intense. You don’t often see someone smacked by a car and then the driver split.

Next a cop car came and after checking out how it was going with the injured guy the cop — and this didn’t surprise me or probably anyone else — started asking bystanders what they saw, like taking statements. I knew they’d get to me which was cool I supposed cause I had no perishables in my grocery bag and was off work and Alice was at her job so I had nothing but time although I’d miss the narcotics anonymous meeting I was gonna go to which wasn’t so awful because there was an AA meeting a little later and they were kind of both the same to me cause I was recovering from the booze and the drugs and again they’re two sides of the same coin.

The cop fairly quickly came to me and I doubt I added much to what he’d learned from the first few witnesses he’d talked to but I gave him my side of things and what the car looked like and all. It was kind of weird talking like this to a cop because I’d had so many negative encounters with them during my bad old days when I flirted with the other side of the law. Not only flirted but at times just out and out danced spitting in the face of the laws of the land metaphorically speaking.

The cop — of course — got my name and address and phone number and thanked me and went on to the next person. By this time they had gotten the guy into the ambulance he was in a stretcher naturally and his neck was in a brace and there was other stuff keeping his body straight I couldn’t see exactly what all. I guess I was kind of looking but not wanting to see ,afraid what I’d be looking at, but hardly able to look away.

The woman who’d been out there talking to the poor guy finally came over to where I was standing and someone asked her how she thought the guy was and would he pull through. She said he’d probably live but would have some pretty bad injuries at least a broken leg and some broken ribs and the like and no doubt a concussion all that for starters. She was real somber and seemed nice she was a pretty woman of about 35 not that that has anything to do with it but I couldn’t help noticing. Someone asked if she as a nurse or something and she said no that she’d been a trainer at the gym for awhile and so knew CPR and stuff. One person thanked her for being a good samaritan  and she was all humble about it which made even more of a nice impression on everyone. I thought that whoever her husband or partner or boyfriend or whatever was well he was a lucky fella.

There was nothing for me to do but get back home with my groceries. I’d just bought a few things like bread and mustard and a can of soup and some paper towels and breath mints. Oh yeah I’d snuck in a Snickers bar me having a sweet tooth ever since I got clean.

It was a few days later I heard that the poor runner who’d been hit had died from internal injuries. It was small consolation that that same day the police had managed to track down the driver and he was in some serious shit now. Amazing that they can track down someone who drives off like that but the cops have their ways and whatever else you say or think about them they use their skills for good a lot of the time.

I had told Alice about the accident of course and she said that I ought to be careful crossing streets because the same thing could happen to me and I shouldn’t make fun of her for crossing streets so warily like she does. It was the day after I heard about the guy dying that Alice came home and told me she was pregnant which I hadn’t expected at all but was glad about. Hell more than glad I was elated and I figured I’d been in recovery long enough to handle it. I also kind of thought of the guy dying and us bringing another life into the world, the whole circle of life bullshit. I even thought for a second that maybe our baby would be the runner reincarnated but kind of dismissed the thought as being silly. But you never know, right?

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