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A Day in the Life

It Happened by Accident

It’s dangerous out on the streets. I’m not talking about the crowd I walk with, I’m talking about the street streets. Where the cars are. I was walking to a job site, temporary work, paid under the table, gutting an old townhouse. Yeah, that’s right instead of building, I was tearing down. But cash is cash, besides I made some good connections. When they get around to doing the remodeling part, I might get some more work.
So I was on my way, minding my own business because you know, if I get involved in every situation I see going on, I’m only going to end up in a heap of someone else’s trouble. But there are times, when it’s my turn. It happened that way. I was almost to an intersection. It was morning rush hour, cars streaming in both directions up Main Street, getting backed up with every light, then lurching forward as soon as it turned green. I saw this tiny car, bright yellow, zip through the red light at the cross street as though because it was so small, it was okay, like it’s a bike. But a bike is nimble and truly able to slide between cars. I know because once I had a bike but it was stolen on account of I didn’t have a decent lock. A chain might as well be made out of linked pretzels if it isn’t made out of titanium. Found that out the hard way. Not getting another bike until I can afford a Kryptonite lock. (Note- That’s not a Superman metal lock, it’s the real deal, one of the best on the market). So, the Mario-kart headed through the intersection while a SUV and a delivery van hit the gas pedal to make it through the next light, which is possible if timed just right. Everyone knows this. The lead car always tries. That little car ricocheted off the oncoming traffic like a hockey puck. Then it flipped over and damn near landed at my feet. Couldn’t walk past that. When the car stopped spinning, I saw an arm flop out of the window. I could smell gasoline and oil. Two men nearby backed away in a hurry. But that arm, would not let me consider that squished metal bug as a potential bomb. I ran up to the dented door, pulled on the handle. I heard a groan from within. Sirens started blasting. The smell of gas choked the air right out of my lungs. My eyes stung. I saw a stream of liquid flowing and pooling. The door wouldn’t open no matter how I yanked on it. I heard a police officer calling out to me. “Son, you’re in harms way, you need to get out of there. Wait until the fire department gets here to neutralize that gas.”
But that wouldn’t work. I could not watch someone burn alive and ever get that out of my mind. I wasn’t ruining the rest of my life, that door had to open. I braced my foot against the frame and pulled with all I had. I’m no wimp. I can throw a good solid punch when needed but I felt useless when it wouldn’t budge. Another cry came from within. “Help!” That was enough. There’s something about life and death that pumps up superpowers. Next time I pulled, the door not only came open, it came off. I ripped the door off! It was one of my crowning moments. I pulled the driver out. The next thing I knew I and the driver were being dragged to the sidewalk, just as flames shot out from under car. While the whole thing was hosed down, the paramedics started working on the driver. I brushed myself off and walked the rest of the way to the job.