Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin...
I haven't been a very regular blogger lately. I've been the abnormal blogger with time as the test I cannot pass. Though time is passing with or without my consent. This isn't too complain about what I've been doing, these last couple of days have been both fun and rewarding, productive and lazy. I've had the best of both worlds, but what I'm seeing when I write my checks (yes, I still prefer checks over debit because there is something satisfying about writing numbers out in actual words--eighty-one, forty-three), is that my birthday month has slid past me and as much as I think I am the skier racing down the slope, many times I am the spectator watching and waving my flag.
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Hit & Run - This was my neighbor. He was out at 6 p.m. and was struck by a car...who didn't stop. This happened on Thursday night.
On the Wednesday night before, I was walking my dog on this same stretch of roadway--in our neighborhood, we call it the "the loop." It's about 2.5 miles, which can be broken down to 1.5 miles of rural 25 mph roadway where cars drive slow and move out of the way for you, and a mile of cars buzzing by you while you tread on gravel wishing there was a sidewalk.
I left my house a little later than normal on Wednesday evening and realized about mid-way through my walk that is was getting dark I was wearing an iPod listening to a New Letters podcast with Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). Cars on that road were whipping by me. I thought about the Baudelaire orphans. Daniel was talking about how he didn't like children's books because good always won and if you just had faith and pluck, you'd make it through. But he knew differently, life is not a guarantee...
Jeannine just happened to call me on my cellphone we talked about the randomness of life (like how you can't get a job one year and the next year you've won a huge award and someone is publishing your memoir-- Congrats Paul!) As I was talking to her I was literally jumping to the side of the road to avoid the ferry traffic commuters who were racing home. I was giving her a play by play of my acrobatics as I dodged traffic.
I was wearing a black coat and black hat. Dressed completely wrong for an evening walk. I passed Virgil and two other friends talking in front of his home. I waved and said hello, but didn't stop to talk because I was on my cell phone and wanted to get off the busy road. When I arrived home, I told my husband I'll never walk that late at night again and that I was almost hit by cars, I had to keep moving into random patches of grass and forest to avoid them.
Then yesterday a friend called me to ask if I heard the news. I hadn't.
I'm not good with random tragedy. I play the "what if" game. What if I had stopped to talk? What if he went to his mailbox 5 minutes later? What if? What if? What if? My second manuscript is based on this, feeling secure in an unsure world.
But back to the "what if's," it's a terrible game because there are never any winners. The past remains the past and what happened in a second, happened. We can't go back and rethink other actions. But I guess I always want meaning, I want bigger purpose. I want to know that my 86 year old neighbor didn't die without something positive coming from it-- streetlights on that street for others, sidewalks, speed bumps. I want to know how he could live 86 years, living through wars and earthquakes, miles of city freeways and the most dangerous thing, the recipe for tragic event would be walking to his mailbox at 6 p.m. on a Thursday night.
These questions are not good for an imaginative, anxious mind. I want to know how we can live each day without being hit by a car, how we each manage to walk into the house after a terrible day at work complaining about traffic or a co-worker and not realize that miracle that we made it home safe. I want to grateful for every minute we do have.