12:42 am - Mon 8.11.2008
(I seem to have fallen into a bad mood this evening, and I don't quite know why. But I'm going to just write about stuff, willy-nilly, and maybe I'll figure it out...)
Had a bit of vehicular excitement in the neighborhood Saturday night (Excitement I was fortunately just a witness to, and not a participant in).
It was around 5:00 p.m., and I’d decided, for a delicious and nutritious change-of-pace, to have Subway for dinner (There's a Subway about three blocks from my apartment, on Wilshire).
And I came out of my apartment building just in time to see a speeding red SVU (A Dodge Durango, I learned later) run his stop sign at the four-way stop (My apartment's on the corner), turn right, and run head-on into a hispanic family in an old brown beater (they’d opted to actually stop at their stop sign).
This was a pretty shocking turn-of-events all by itself, but then the Durango backed up, pulled around the car it’d just hit head-on...and sped off, smoke pouring from under the hood.
I saw it go down the block, turn left...then heard another crash; it had run into a van parked on the street, pretty much caving in the left side (I don't know cars, but to me, it looked like he'd pretty much killed that van).
And still the “Durango of Death” kept going (Eyewitnesses to the second accident - actually, it was the third accident, but more on that in a second - saw it turn right on Wilshire).
Turns out, the fun had started on 3rd street, where our one-man demolition derby found his first victim.
So in the span of, I’m guessing, no more than five or six blocks (Because pedestrian witnesses to each accident, like Yours Truly, were able to follow the path of destruction to the next accident), "The Durango Kid" (An asian guy, apparently), hit three separate vehicles.
I'll tell you something, it gave me a whole new respect for the bad guys who try to evade arrest and are chased by the cops for miles before being forced to a stop, or finally losing control of the vehicle - apparently, that kind of driving ain't as easy as it looks.
And I guess that's as good a jumping-off point as any...
The guy getting beheaded on the Greyhound.
The recent earthquake.
Bernie Mac dying at age 50.
A drunk and/or crazy guy racing through my neighborhood and hitting three cars.
What do all these things have in common?
Along with some other things like this I was going to add to the list that I can't remember at the moment?
What they all have in common, in my mind, is that they're all reminders that life can take a bad turn - a really bad turn - very quickly.
Not a terribly novel thought, I know, and the follow-up thoughts I had were not very novel either - thoughts to the tune of "getting the most you can out of life, because you never know...".
You never know when a building is going to fall on you, or you're going to die of pneumonia (even though you're not that old), or someone on the bus next to you is going to stab you to death, cut off your head, and eat pieces of you while waiting for the police to arrive on the scene.
And if "Red Durango" had hit me on my bike instead of the hispanic family in their car - if I'd been going off to the movies or what-have-you - it's very possible my future plans would have changed from being a famous actor to being dead.
(The family in the car seemed okay, by the way, if understandably "shaken up"; paramedics put a neck brace on the female driver, and had her get on a stretcher, but it seemed more like a precaution than anything, and no one else seemed hurt at all. But it did look like "Red Durango" succeeded in killing their car.)
When my thoughts turn sappy, and I think "I should be living each day as if it were my last", my next thought is "Okay, how the hell are you going to do that, Jim?".
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