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Life and Death

April 22, 2022

Yesterday, I was crossing a street, a side street that forks off a busy road. I was with my friend so I probably wasn’t paying attention. We were crossing on a green light but not with the walking man. I was leading the way like a fool and I was in the wrong.

My friend Colin was perhaps 30cm behind me. He suddenly shouted and grabbed my sleeve. I stopped just in time to miss being hit by a woman driving a utility vehicle very, very fast. She must have been gunning it to catch an orange light and turn into the side street. The vehicle missed me by a whisker. A whisker, I tell you.

She should not have been driving so fast and certainly, she should have been vigilant as she turned into the street and over the pedestrian crossing but I am guilty of not paying attention and of crossing without the little man. If my friend had not been with me, I would have been smashed to smithereens by a big, heavy and extremely fast metal machine. Just like that. One minute fine and dandy and the next, kaboom.

The odd thing about such incidents is that they occur without fanfare. It all happens very fast but in a vague and dull way. The car missed me by a centimetre or two. There was no big bang but there was this very disorienting understanding of what had almost happened. A hand tugging my sleeve and a shout prevented something extraordinary, something dramatically life-changing or life-taking from occurring.

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