These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, July 21, 2006

odd things

i was crossing pine avenue thursday on my way to the library to return a video and had the beatles playing on my discman. there's heavy traffic on that street due to construction on river ave. it makes it almost impossible to cross at peak hours like noon and 5 p.m.

i've visualized crossing, or attempting to cross, and not having seen a car or truck because of a ray of light through branches or bloackage of some kind, getting hit by a vehicle.

i imagine myself -- at that final instant -- saying "oh shit, i misjudged the car's distance." then i get hit, roll onto the windshield and then off to one side, maybe even struck or runover by a vehicle going in the opposite direction. i lie there, dead or dying while people get out of cars and panic ensues.

if i'm off to the library, whatever item that's in my hand is now lying near a sidewalk, gutter or in someone's hedge, not to be found until the folowing year's snow melt.

but i am careful about this. i always look both ways before crossing pine or any stret. i am more so now that pine is heavily traversed with cars. sometimes i feel embarrassed because i wait too long and i think people are watching me and wondering why is this idiot standing by the curb when no cars are coming.

i was just running that scenario through my head this afternoon.

wouldn't you know it. i go into work at 4. i'm on the phone and i hear the scanner go off about a personal injury priority 1 crash. i hear nothing else because i'm on the phone.

i tell my supervisor about it. then we hear it's in town. there's a scramble to get a photog. then finally a reporter goes (I was lucky enough to stay in the office since i had to call a person in israel on the midle east crisis).

subsequently, i hear it involves a car and bike. not good. too many kids out since it's summer. then i hear it involves a city vehicle.

wel, i turned out to be a 16-year-old kid wo got hit by a bus. it's a bus that has city routes. the kid, allegedly didn't stop or look both ways, and the bus ran into him. he was taken to the hospital and was in critical condition thursday night.

that follows a 21-year-old man who fell off a scaffolding on eighth st. just up the strete from us. he was not lucky enough to even be in critical condition. he died at the hospital. rumor has it he might have been at the pub. the scaffolding was 20 feet high and he climbed it at midnight. draw your own conclusion.

it ws a wild night. i heard the initial call for both the scaffolding fall, since i was in the office late last night when they called it.i left a message for the cops reporter.

any morals here? i dunno. maybe take an extra second to look left and right before shooting across a street on your bike and never climb a scaffolding, period. unless you're supposed to be up there working.


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