I went into Maura’s office and sat down on her chair. “I just saw someone get hit by a truck and run-over.” She said whoa, or something like whoa. I don’t remember. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember much of this morning, other than the absolute silence of watching an actual being bounce beneath the bed of a dump truck. But I remember that. I remember the silence. The surreality. The noise, of which there was plenty, is a completely distinct memory. Something honking, the sound of jaws dropping, me: “Was that a person?” to the woman standing next to me on the street. Her: “Yes.”
Truthfully, I always thought the jaw dropping thing was apocryphal, fictional. But I stood at the corner of Spring Street and West Broadway with my mouth agape. Force equals mass times acceleration. Force equals mass times acceleration. Force equals mass times acceleration. That man just bounced under the wheels of that dump truck until it stopped on him. That truck is huge. I am First-Aid certified. What can I do? Was there any blood? How come I didn’t see any blood? How did that just happen? What just happened? I am First-Aid certified. Do I want to see whatever is there? There are already so many people there. If I go to coffee shop instead of helping a person who just got hit by a truck, am I a bad person? Is life a miracle or an aberration? What is it that I can honestly do?
I went and got coffee. When I came out, the ambulance was roaring onto the scene. A crowd was there watching. Apparently the man was alive underneath all the blood and weight. Since I could not solve anything, I left. I went to work. I went to work and I sat down in Maura’s office.
Maura told me yesterday that she doesn’t trust me, which made me sad. As is my wont, I pretended that my sadness was a show, but really, if someone tells you that they don’t trust you — even couched within a conversation about how she trusts no one at all — you kind of feel the sting. And so it was a bit weird to sit in her office, to confess, “This is deeply fucked up, and what just happened?” She told me that if she could she would buy me coffee, and about how she once saw the bloody remains of a pedestrian-automobile accident in Montreal, on Sherbrooke. I wondered what had happened to our friendship, and whether I should ever work with a friend ever again. I said, “Life is short,” slapped her desk, and went back to my own.