In a break from my usual inane rantings……..
30 years ago this month:
My roommate at the time, Mark, had been out of town. ‘Yip, I’m coming in tomorrow night. Plane gets in about 10:00. Can you pick me up at the airport? Use my car. The keys are on the hook in the kitchen.’
About 9:15 I hop into Mark’s bright yellow VW and head for the airport. It’s a nice, warm evening. Lots of moonlight, not much traffic. I pick Mark up at the gate and we head back to his Midtown, K.C. house. At that time, there was not a lot of development between downtown K.C. and the airport. It was pretty much farmland with an occasional old drive-in motel.
We’re driving along, talking about California, the flight back, how many drinks Mark had indulged in, the lousy airline food, (back then they still served food),
when an old pickup truck sped by us. Must have been doing at least 80 mph.
‘Oh! Babycakes is in a hurry!’ said Mark.
A few minutes later, we round a bend of the highway. There’s something up ahead that just doesn’t look ‘right’.
I slow down a little.
‘What’s going on up here?’
There are car headlights pointing at us, but…..there’s something different….something….out of the ordinary.
Then it hits me.
The headlights are vertical. One above the other, about 3 feet apart. Not horizontal, like they should be.
Oh shit! There’s been a wreck.
It’s a car off the side of the road, on its side, pointing in the opposite direction of traffic flow.
I pull over, even with the overturned vehicle, which is about 30 yards away from the highway. A taxi pulls up behind us. Dust is flying everywhere, dimming the moonlight. The wreck has justмебель в болгарии happened. I get out of Mark’s car and yell to the cab driver,
‘Can you call the police with your radio?’
‘I already have.’ he says, getting out of the cab. We both trot down to the overturned vehicle, with Mark not far behind us.
It’s the pickup truck that had sped passed us moments earlier, apparently going too fast to negotiate the curve in the highway. I approach the cab of the pickup, hoping to find someone in there not too banged up. There’s nothing in the truck.
I hear the cab driver, who’s at the back end of the pickup, ‘Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy!’
I run to the back of the pickup.
She’s there, crushed under the bed of the truck. Her body is covered by the truck from her stomach on down. All we can see is her upper torso and head, with her arms stretched out above her face.
Apparently thrown out during the wreck, the truck rolling on top of her.
The cab driver pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket, unfolded it and placed it over her face. Her eyes were half open, a blank stare. She was pretty. Shoulder-length reddish hair, a few strands floating in the still dusty breeze.
The cab driver gently took one of her hands and cupped it in his as he prayed, ‘Dear God, take this child of yours………..’
The police and ambulance showed up a few minutes later. The three of us gave our view of what had happened. We all had tears in our eyes.
Mark and I didn’t talk much on the way back to his house. We stayed up late, stared at the walls and drank Scotch.
A couple of days later I found her obituary in the paper.
Her name was Lisa.
I think of her often.
And of the cab driver.