May 05, 2006

Complacent

I was enjoying my drive home after having dropped off my sister at her place. It was around 11:20p.m. on this Friday night. The air was cool, it was drizzling and vehicles were out and about. I came to stop at a red light. There were two other cars to my right and on the left turn lane beside me, there was a car filled with four passengers. All our traffic lights were red. The oppossing traffic's light turned green before ours did. Suddenly the car to my left started and sped up through the intersection making a left turn. There was van coming at high speed from the opposite side (as was his right of way). As if in slow motion, all of us saw the van smash into the car. The car turned180 degrees, climbed the trafficlight on the other side and came to a stand still. The hood of the van was smashed in, glass flew everywhere, and we saw all the passengers in the car surge forward and then fall back into their seats. After the sound of the crash, there was nothing but shocked silence all around. No one moved. And then very slowly traffic started up again and we all drove off on our respective ways.

Along the way, I wondered 'when did I become so complacent?' I was in something of a daze, but I'm not sure if it was brought on by the sheer exhaustion I was feeling, the lateness of the night and this scene before me just became one more thing to pile on to the already burdened shoulder. When did I stop caring as much as I used to? And more importantly why? I called my sister and told her about what I had witnessed and she gasped and immediately asked me if I was alright, since such things usually affect other drivers as well. I told her in a matter-of-fact tone that I was almost home and that I was fine. I know for a fact, that some time back I would have been possibly shaken, definitely worried about the outcome and would've dialed 911. I didn't do any of these. I didn't stop to see if all passengers and drivers were ok. I didn't do anything to put my mind at ease, probably because my mind wasn't in any turmoil. Maybe it'll hit me tomorrow or maybe I'll just keep being complacent. I don't know if it's good or bad. I just know that this is how I've become and while such a change in me would've bothered me to no end earlier on, right now I don't even feel bad that I didn't react more strongly tonight.

7 comments:

Ramya said...

thats big! you actually witnessed an accident and then were cool?? i would have had to pull over for a few mins somewhere and then go.. maybe you were in shock and the impact hasnt hit you as yet..you know, sometimes it does happen.

Vee said...

Yeah Ramya. It was right there in front of me. I don't know what it is. I'm driving around normal today... hmm...

Kaskuss said...

What you have witnessed and your reaction to it is completely normal Vee. I would take it as a gentle reminder of how our lives are. At one moment, we are so overwhelmed with feelings and then after some time we just move on. That's the best part of life, the movement-the transition. Badthe Jao....

Gary said...

I'm glad you were safe. I suspect you might have been in shock to some extent (maybe still). Sometimes in the face of extremity, our mind becomes logical and almost cold - it's a coping mechanism.

It sounds like you also are not really needing more pressure and closed off a bit. I hope you're okay Vee.

Don't question yourself too much (I guess you're not.) That said, I do hope someone did call 911 since that brings first aid to the scene right away.

Athena said...

Hmmm...interesting how some things shock us and others don't as much. I hope everyone was okay in that car. Where did this happen? Eglinton?

Pixie La Roo said...

I saw a car catch fire last week right in front of me. I didn't call the cops but I call the radio to let them know. I didnt call the cops because I knew a lot of others would have. Perhaps, you didnt stop because it was so late at night. Don't beat yourself up for not feeling as much you think you should or would have. We make decisions everyday. While it's important that we make the right decision, it's more important not to doubt and regret them. Take care.

Shaneena said...

I'm not surprised of your reaction. I believe we all become more complacent with time. And I'm not sure if it's any of ours fault. Through the tv screen, we se suffering and overwhelming incidents every day. Children dying of hunger in Africa. People getting slaughtered at their nextdoor neighbours house in areas of religious conflict. Men and women getting executed for having their own beliefs. It's a harsh world out there. It is also a very beautiful world out there!Unfortunately it is the harsh world we see too much of in our livingroom. No wonder we become complacent and sometimes seem like egotrippers...

I wish more beauty and happiness could florish!! I just need help to do it!