Saturday, March 26, 2005

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome. - Isaac Asimov

At 645am, I started my commute to work, glad that I was early and that I could pick up breakfast. I turned on the radio, and Dick Ireland informed me that there was a closure of southbound I-795 and all lanes were being turned around because of an accident that was right at the mouth of the merge to I-695.

"Good thing I found that out," was my first thought as I took the back roads 5 miles to the metro. Seemed like everyone was on the back roads today, causing me to catch every single red light out there. A light drizzle as I parked....in a great spot! and voila, I was on my way to work.

In the metro, sitting in front of Mr. Sleepy Snorehead, and across from Miss Ignore People, a lady that avoids eye contact by pretending to be fully immersed in her boring book that she has been reading for the whole month.... I occupied my time by gazing out the window, playing my favorite game of watching the metro bypass all the cars driving the same direction on 795. Alas....the cars were inching in the wrong direction! That was a weird sight. Obediantly following the directives of the highway patrol, all the people who didn't turn on the radio were detouring to 140. Enviously wishing they had taken the metro, I smirked.

A bright yellow fire truck sped past us, blaring the loud horn caught my attention. Now I definitely wanted to know what was going on. Never to my knowledge had 795 been closed...it was the highway of dreams, level, generally uncrowded, beckoning you to speed up to 80mph on the police free run between exits 7 and 9. Me...speed? What??

As I was saying, the highway of dreams was clogged, and I wanted to know why. So I scanned the road as we inched slowly by, past the cars going in the wrong direction, until I saw empty road. The highway of dreams was totally empty for about half a mile, and that was even more surreal than the cars that were going in the wrong direction.

There were two large semis parked on the side of the road, seemingly suspect, waiting for the highway to be reopened. Five cops, standing in various poses, strikingly austere in the early dawn.
Black concrete, yellow tarp.....dead body, with two legs poking out of the tarp, no shoes or pants on. Time stood still for a second, yet we sped on by.

Someone had died this morning. Someone who's family probably thought him still on the way to work. Someone that had been blaring the radio and drinking coffee, his main focus was getting to work on time. A moment of reflection....and then it was gone, just as his remains lay stagnant on the highway, the recollection now lays stagnant in my mind.

But as all mortals are wont to do, my mind turned back to my own life, my own problems, my own day. A day that sped by of it's own accord, lying waste to the feeling that time stands still. At the end of the day, research yields his name as Salvatore Aquina, a year older than me...25, who had been having an arguement with his car mate Tim Logan. Obviously it must have been a heated discussion rapidly turning into a fight as Tim pulled the car over to the shoulder of the road. Sal leapt out, still angered, and flung himself into traffic, running in and out, seemingly trying to get away from Tim. Cars swerved, several avoided him successfully, but they were so close that he snatched off the antenna of a car as it swept by. He got hit by a trailer-truck AND a pickup, slammed so hard into the concrete that he died on impact. Another life laid to waste.

Next time I sit in a car with anyone...and we started a debate...never will I let it escalate to the point that one of us gets so angry to commit involuntary manslaughter.

My mantra has been and always will be...

Life is short; live it up. - Nikita Khrushchev

1 comment:

Aunty Kathy said...

Wow, that's deep. And so well written, I felt I was THERE with you, staring out the metro window, shocked and horrified at the sight of a newly slaughtered human in the early morning mist.

We see death so much, so often.

And yet life rudely pushes us back into the fast lane with hardly a moment to stop and contemplate the unthinkable.

Your blog does it very well.