Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bad Nooz Sooz

There were a few years in a row when I witnessed awful stuff on my birthday. This year I managed to escape that tradition. Unfortunately this morning, still in my birth month, I saw an awful accident on my way to work. A cab jumped the curb on 23rd and Park, running into a number of pedestrians and the newsstand. The same man I've bought stamps from outside of Hallmark for years was splayed out in the middle of the sidewalk, shoeless, bloody and not moving. The newsstand, once a shiny metal and glass hut, was shattered into millions of pieces and tossed in every direction. While I felt awful for him, and couldn't take my eyes off the scene, I had to feel incredibly thankful that it didn't happen two minutes later when I could have been passing that very spot. How often do we all narrowly miss life threatening accidents like this? Was it fate that I went back inside this morning for the umbrella that I didn't even need? Or that I decided to watch that extra two minutes on the Today Show before rushing out the door? It's been on my mind all day. As much as I try to be aware of my surroundings and alert when I'm in public, it's scary to think that these things happen in a split second, leaving us, more often than not, with very little time to react. I'm thinking tonight about the man who consistently overcharged me for stamps. I'm wondering where he is tonight, if he's ok and if he'll ever have the opportunity to rebuild his glass castle full of magazines, newspapers and the best candy selection easy of Duane Reade. Passing by his spot, the only thing that remains is a pile of boxes and the memory of $0.50 stamps.

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