Hits and Misses

The other night, just after I came up from the subway and crossed Pacific Street, there was a car accident on 4th Ave and Pacific.  Someone trying to make it through the intersection as the yellow was changing to red, someone else anticipating the change from red to green.  The sound was huge and scary.  The hit was so hard that the Pacific Street car was thrown across the intersection and up onto the sidewalk where I’d just been walking.

In a city with so many cars, a city famous for aggressive driving, it’s a wonder I don’t see more car accidents.  But I don’t.  And each one I do see is shocking and upsetting.  My heart was beating painfully fast after the crash.  So fast that it took me a minute to think to call 911.  But there were so many people on the street dialing, by the time I gave my information to the operator, they’d already logged the accident and sent out EMS and the police.

I didn’t stick around, but walked down to my bus to take my shaky self home, thankful that I’d crossed the street exactly when I had.  Ten seconds slower and that Pacific Street car would have careened right into me.  I was sorry for the people in the cars, of course, but grateful I’d been missed.

And then last night I learned of another hit and miss.  After a week of mourning the loss of my friend Kenrick … I find that there are, in fact, two men in town with the exact same first and last name … and the Kenrick who has died isn’t the Kenrick I know.  Really.  What are the chances of this being true?  I finally got through to someone I’d been trying to reach all week to offer condolences and find out more about what happened … only to be given the news that “my” Kenrick is alive and well.  I saw a picture online today of the man who has died and he looks like a lovely man.  I am sorry that his family and friends have lost him.  But I am still grateful that the other Kenrick is just fine.

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10 thoughts on “Hits and Misses

  1. I think that for people like me, who have an obscure name, it’s weirder to see our names in reference to other people. People with common names are probably used to that. Of course I have a Google Alert on my name, and recently it told me I was an old Methodist preacher who had just died. I can imagine what Kenrick felt.

    1. Funny, PitS, there are two other ladies with my name on Google. There used to only be one, but we’re growing. The first is a total jock, excels in every possible sport … so obviously not me! And now there’s the early childhood educator.

      I probably shouldn’t be so surprised that there’s another person with Kenrick’s name. I guess I’m more surprised that people in town who know that there are people with the same name weren’t more clear about which Kenrick had passed away. A little crazy making!

  2. molly

    I like the way your tie loss and gain together. I feel they are always linked. Not just “my loss is somebody else’s gain”, which interests me less, but the fact that every situation has various facets, like a many-sided diamond.
    One of the good things about this story is that no pedestrian was hit by the careening car. One time my two-year-old and five other little kids were sitting on a curb chatting. The lady from the fifth floor was beating a huge oriental rug, which fell from her balcony seconds after the kids left the curb to go do something else. Close calls are still “calls”, aren’t they?
    Now you KNOW you have to go to Jamaica, and I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you.
    As for the heart palpitations, that is the correct physiological reaction to that situation. Your body is only doing what it’s supposed to do when a car is thrown in its direction. It does make you feel shaky, and as we get older, it’s also very scary to feel that way. I’m glad you are all right.
    Do you have a vacation coming up any time soon?

    1. I often think of the duality of gain and loss. I agree that they are linked. And yes, I’m glad all of us who came up the stairs from the subway that night had already moved out of the way before that accident. That was definitely a lucky, lucky thing. And more than a little surprising because that’s a station that always has plenty of people going in and out.

      You’re right, though. I do have to go to JA. I thought it when I first got the news about Kenrick … and I thought it again when I got the real news. I don’t have a trip planned, however, as I’m painfully poor at the moment. But I started looking at flights the other night. I need to find a way to make this work sooner rather than later.

  3. Oh, wow. That gave me chills. I’m so glad that you crossed the street when you did, too. Those near misses really do make us think. We are such fragile creatures.

    And your friend. Again with the wow! How wonderful that he is still alive and (hopefully) well. But how very, very confusing it must be to have had your emotions wrung up that way.

    1. Yes, I still haven’t quite processed the fact that the Kenrick I know is alive and well. He doesn’t have a phone, so I can’t even call and hear his voice to reassure myself. Such a strange set of feelings to run through in such a short time.

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