Friday, April 13, 2012

Roger That

On the way home today I decided to get off the freeway and take a frontage road. Too many cars sliding around due to heavy rainfall, I figured I was a bit safer on the less traveled lanes.

A fairly heavy storm had hit about noon and had been pummeling the region without pause. It was now 3:30pm. Even the frontage road was flooded in spots, maybe 6-10 inches of water, several cars stranded in the currents... I was happy for fuel injection and not stalling out myself.
This is why I prefer the SUV over the standard automobile. A higher profile, a few extra inches above the muck, has it's advantages.

Passing through I noticed a car in a peculiar location.
What was he doing there, on that side of the fence, and how the hell did he get there?
Something seemed amiss.
I made a U-turn to investigate.
I also took a picture.
(clickabiggen, and you see the rain drops and how hard they were falling)

Good thing, too.

I parked and got out, trudged through the mud that engulfed my ankles while rain continued to pour down, soaking through my jeans, cap and coat.
By the time I reached my target and climbed over the fence I may as well have been wearing no clothing at all with the degree of wetness I was feeling.

I found a lower twenty-something dude inside the car. He may have been a near thirty-something. It is sometimes hard to tell with Asians. He was clearly a bit dazed and razzle-dazzled.

What up? You O.K.?

He was fine, physically.
Just in case, I looked him over and asked a few stupid questions to gauge a response.

His car had hydroplaned, he lost control and ended up off the road... and down the steep embankment.
I didn't bother to check his drawers. (Somethings he would need to do for himself.)
He's damned lucky he didn't roll it.

I looked the car over, saw no obvious damage, but noticed he was either driving on racing slicks or bald tires.
I mentioned this to him.
Dude, your wheels are bald.
That is why you are where you are.

"I know. I put it off too long."

I'm Gino...
"Thank You for stopping. My name is Roger."

Nice to meet you, Roger.
Tell me... are you stupid or are you crazy? It's raining like a motherfucker. Yer on the freeway with bald ass tires...

" I know, I know... I'm sorry..."

Don't be sorry. Be grateful.
"I'm sorry..."
Shh... listen to me-
I looked him straight in the eye... and I went off.

No seriously.
I went off.

Four years ago, on this same highway, my sister was driving with bald tires. Her tire blew. She lost control. She rolled... and she died.
Get this, bro.
She fucking died.
Right there on the side of the fuckin road.
This road.
She rolled her truck and died.
Popped her head like a fuckin grape.
You want that shit?
She died.
I saw it.
Blood and brains and shit all over the fuckin place.
You want that?
You wanna die?
You want that for you?
For your family?
To hurt your parents like that?

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."

Ever seen a parent cry over a child?
Over something that didn't have to happen?
Go ahead, fuck yourself if you want, but don't fuck your parents.
They don't deserve it.

"I know, I know... I'm sorry. It's my fault..."

Roger was visibly shaking now.

Don't be sorry. Be educated.
Roger was now in tears.

"I'm sorry..."

I paused my tirade to let him think... then continued.

Listen to me, Bro...
Today, you stared death in the eye.
Death blinked.
Death don't blink twice.
You with me?

"I'm so sorry..."

Don't be sorry. Just be wiser. Learn from this so it doesn't have to happen again.

"It won't. I promise."

Her name was 'Mary'. Remember it so that next time the name isn't 'Roger'.

We called a tow truck while I sat with him waiting for it arrive.
Sitting in the car with him was a nice respite from the downpour, and we were able to introduce ourselves a little better.
It turns out he lives in the same development as I do. We are neighbors.

He's a good dude. And he's assured me that he will never drive on bald tires again. Ever, ever. He's learned his lesson.

Maybe some good will come from Mary's loss, after all.


Mr. D said...

Well done, my friend.

my name is Amanda said...

This was difficult to read. I hope the dude remembers the important life lesson, however!

Brian said...

Good work.

Gino said...

i learned that i'm not too old to climb a fence if i wanted to.

Palm boy said...

I would have titled this 'Roger and Me'

Bike Bubba said...

Well done. I've wanted to say the same thing as I see lots of pretty bald tires here in Minnesota. Makes ya wonder what they're thinkin'.

Mrs. D said...

I think this is your best post yet. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Gino said...

thank you, mrs D.

bubba: they ain't thinking.