Not a Typical Morning


No one expressed grief over the victim, or worse, victims, of the accident.  It flashed through my head like the lightning, fleeting and bright, that it was probably their own fault.  The gates at rail crossings are generally a good distance from the tracks themselves, though not all crossings even have gates.  I knew the crossing the “experts” mentioned, though, and there are gates.  Gates, flashing lights, clanging bells … and a traffic light to boot.  It’s a major intersection.  A shudder twisted up my spine when I considered what happens when a car and freight train collide.  It’s not a new occurrence, neither uncommon, unfortunately.  The result is never good.

I bowed my head and prayed again.  This time I started with the family and worked the other way.  I dropped the part about it not being true.

More news from the peanut gallery trickled down to me via their voluble voices.

“I guess da car’s stuck unner da train,” someone twanged.  My heart spasmed.

Oh my God.  This was a horrible accident.

“Oh, well, jeez, dat’s gonna be anudder two, tree hours at least,” another “expert” offered.  “Yeah, at least anudder two-tree hours.”

I sat silent, not that I would’ve spoken anyway, but I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking.  “Under the train” echoed through my brain like a gunshot.

I was dumbstruck by their callousness.  More laughing as the discussion turned to the train company offering a limo service to get passengers to work in compensation for the delay … caused by a freight train running over someone’s car.  With someone in it.

“Yeah, eidder dat, or a buncha conducters’ll come an’ carry us on deir backs!”  A rousing round of mirth for this statement.

I prayed.  And I prayed.  And I prayed.  And yes, I was worried about getting to work, and what had to happen for me to get there and still have any chance at all of getting something like my normal paycheck next payday, but I couldn’t rid myself of the image of some mangled, twisted, smashed heap of metal and plastic strewn along the rails and ties, broken glass and shattered light lenses spread across the intersection, and blood …

I shook my head to clear it.  I stood, and pressed against the door handle to go out when I heard someone’s voice grating behind me.

“Well, dey ain’t gonna be able ta lift up dat train, no sir — dey gotta jus’ cut da car outta unnerneath it.  Jus’ cut it out, an’ den mebbe dey can get da body an’ whatnot.”

An’ whatnot.  I fought back the bile rising in my throat.  I banged through the door and breathed deep of the rain-washed, humid air.  I felt dizzy, like I moved through a dream-haze.  Nothing seemed real.  No one — not a single person — expressed the slightest sympathy for whoever may have been in the car, or what might’ve become of them.

I realized with growing horror that, not very long ago, I wouldn’t have either.  Not long ago at all.

I prayed.  I prayed, this time, for me.

18 thoughts on “Not a Typical Morning

  1. Raga6

    Wow, what a shitty morning. That poor person or persons. It’s really sad those train morons couldn’t and didn’t stop to think about the lives of the people affected by the sadness of the morning. I feel for those who will be truly suffering because of this.

    Also, people really suck. Sadly, I’m not surprised no one cared about the poor victims. This is a me, me ,me society we live in now. This is why I can’t stand the masses. All selfish, stupid sheep baaing at each other thinking they are all smarter and better than all the other sheep.

    I hope your weekend is better than today.

  2. Raga — Oh, hon, I’m glad to see you. I’ve been thinking about you LOADS lately. Hope you and the gang are doing great.

    You’re right — we live in a very selfish society. Probably not just here either, but worldwide. In general, people are all about “Number 1” and everyone else — family included! — comes second … or less.

    I’m better now, but it shook me pretty hard to think about what might’ve happened to the person or people in the car. Especially after I saw what was left. I’m hoping … well, I don’t know what I’m hoping. But I’m still praying.

    And as much as the “experts” irritated me, I’m afraid I’m as callous (if not as orally flatulent) as they are. I had a moment of less such, but maybe it was only a moment. When does a dick ever know he’s a dick? I’ll always wonder.

    Thanks for coming by, hon, and I hope you have a great weekend too. 🙂

  3. Now that I’m back online, I tried looking up the report again in the news, and I can’t find anything more than just a freight incident. Perhaps it was just a car that stalled on the tracks, because I’d think if there were injuries, those would be reported, right? LTY

  4. Fal — Maybe. I tried looking for it on the train company’s site, and they had bupkes too. *Shrug* False alarm, maybe? Nobody hurt, nothing to worry about? It’d be my luck the one time I’m a sensitive human being, it was for NOTHING *Ms. Bitters’ voice*. 😉

    LTY2.

  5. Raga6

    I LMAO off your orally flatulent! Too funny, even when you’re down. 😉 Plus I think most dicks know they are being dicks most of the time, they just act like they don’t. Also, you aren’t a dick. Just a little jaded. But so am I so it’s okay! 😀

    If you need to talk or hear me babble away about nothing you know I’m easy to reach so if you need some Dr. Raga time the doctor is in and a phone call away.

  6. Raga — ROLFLMFAO … AT WORK! Too much, hon.

    We should schedule a conference call with you, Sherri and us, and just everybody let their hair down and de-stress. Especially my fat ass. I need it.

    😉

  7. Pingback: Something Phenomenal … « DarcNess

  8. Congrats on being recognized for such a great piece. I’m just so sorry that it had to be such a tragic situation that prompted it. Isn’t it crazy how God doesn’t let anything go wasted? Even your crappy morning, He’s using for good. Not that getting recognized makes the accident worth it, but I hope you know what I’m saying. He’s redeeming even this.

  9. Casey — I do know, hon. You’re right – when I wrote the piece, I didn’t have a clue it would — never mind how MUCH — have such impact on people. Hundreds of them came by to tell me how it touched them. It was … weird. But all glory to God. I just dumped some text out. The rest is His work.

    Thanks for visiting, hon. 🙂

  10. Bryce — Thanks, bud. I wish I could accept the compliment out of hand, but to be honest, that sort of concern for my fellow man is rare for me too. I’m a jackass that way.

    Thanks for coming by and reading it though. The response this piece got on deviantART was amazing — it was awarded a “Daily Deviation” and brought to the front page of the community. It got something like 2400 views in a day, and I’ve got almost 200 comments, all of them along the lines of what you said here. I guess it spoke to people.

    Thank you again. I’m hoping this represents the new me.

  11. When I started reading, I thought this was fiction. Then I read the comments, so I now I presume it is true. A terrible story. I mean, a good terrible story. Does that make any sense?

    It is true; and yes, you’re making perfect sense. Thank you. 🙂

    Back in my Catholic school days, the nuns would have us pray every time an ambulance or fire truck raced by the school. Most of what they taught me in Catholic school I gave up on long ago, but I still do that. Well, my form of prayer anyway. And I don’t advocate prayer in schools, but perhaps an acknowledgment that another human being is in trouble, wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    I do advocate prayer in school; that’s one of the uses. I don’t remember being told to do that in my Catholic school days, but I still do it. I can’t say I always have, but I do now. Not every time, Lord knows. But I do it.

    You’re right in your last comment up there–this piece does bring up a lot.

    It seems to strike something in folks. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  12. I’ve never met another former Catholic school student who remembers the nuns telling them to pray for ambulances and such. Maybe my memory is faulty or maybe it was particular to my school for some reason–but I’m glad they did it or that I just think they did.

    Either way, it’s a nice thing to do. But I think it’s even cooler if you only thought they did, and you were actually the one responsible. 🙂

    At least in my story no people were killed–but a family’s livelihood was wiped out. And I felt sorry for the cows munching grass and standing around on a beautiful September day–and then along we came… I didn’t want to post bloody pictures because, well, it seemed gratuitous. It is hard believe you didn’t have something intelligent to say, but you’re not ever required to comment.

    I didn’t have a camera to take pictures … thank God. The scene was gruesome enough with just twisted metal and broken glass. Seeing something like you did would be hard to stomach on a lot of levels, I think. And I have surprised myself plenty with how often I have nothing intelligent to say. My wife’s a saint, I tells ya.

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