I am late for my hair appointment.
And there goes the bus…
I have missed it.
The heat wave that had recently engulfed Minneapolis has taken a break, just long enough for me to get excited about wearing jeans again; and I turn from my original intention to ride the 17 to one to ride the 11, which will be a more direct route anyway.
It’s a 12-block walk.
It becomes apparent rather quickly that my excitement over wearing long pants has been premature.
I’m gettin’ sweaty.
No worry – there’s a bench at the bus stop.
I will sit there, I think, nodding to myself. I will stop sweating.
Somewhere ahead, there is the sound of impact.
Two cars have become as one.
Three blocks later, I can see the Number 11. Just ahead and to the left of a clump of trees, the bus is there on the cross street, approaching the stop. It disappears momentarily, then reappears just to the right of the aforesaid flora. It slows, but doesn’t stop, instead proceeding through the intersection and moving out of my sight, where it no doubt picks up people who have managed to arrive in time to catch it.
I’ve missed another bus.
Still, I’ve nothing to do but continue.
And when I get past the cluster of trees that had blocked my view, I see that sometimes, we are lucky to continue.
If we get to continue at all.
And I also see the source of the sound of the crash.
A blue bumper lies in the middle of the street in a sea of blue-green safety glass. There is a woman standing in the center of it all, her head in her hands.
The car that has hit her, now minus a bumper, is in the process of being loaded onto the back of a flat-bed style tow truck.
And her car. the one I see her pull her purse out of just moments later – has been t-boned, has spun, its passenger door pushed clear to the driver’s seat…
… sits half in the street, half in the grass, its front end resting on the bench.
It’s been demolished.
My arms go numb.
And I am forced to reflect on the difference between being on time.
And on being.