I’m not really sure what I want to say about this, but I know I ought to say something.
I work in a particularly unsafe city–riddled with crime, drug use, cleaning out crooked cops, just a pretty un-fun area. I go there, do my job, and leave. I take (took..) a shuttle from a parking garage about 3 miles away to the hospital I work at. Last night, while on the shuttle (just myself and the driver), the driver encountered two 20something year old African American .. kids .. They were in the way of the shuttle to get down the street. Much to my chagrin, the shuttle driver acted out of a bit of road rage, hollering at the guys. The guys approached the shuttle. I froze in terror, a level of terror I’ve never imagined or experienced before. I wanted to shout at the shuttle driver to shut his pie hole. I thought to calmly suggest backing up and just avoiding the situation. I wanted to hide so that the kids didn’t see me (too late, though). I couldn’t do a thing except think. I could only think “Oh my god! They might have a gun! They could shoot us! I could end up in the hospital’s trauma unit. Oh My God! They could be strung out on drugs!” I was so panicked that I wanted to cry, but every cell in my body seemed to halt.
The driver got us out of the situation, without getting shot at or beat up, and apologized to me. I, still shaken and unable to process the entirety of what happened could only muster “I’d like to say it’s ok, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.” The driver replied with ‘They’re just stupid kids.’
Well…..they’re stupid kids, sure…obviously, jumping on the hood of a shuttle bus. I don’t know too many intelligent people who would conceive of that idea. But stupid kids do stupid things. And we don’t know what they think, if they think.
I talked to a security guard friend at the garage I (used to) park at and he helped me to feel much better. Until I started my hour commute home. I was overcome with fear and panic again. “It really could have happened that I didn’t get a chance to get my act together, to remedy my issues and my problems and start to leave my ‘legacy’ that I’m told I’ll leave. That was real.” And I felt awful and grateful at the same time. I felt awful that I’ve got so much to work on, but I felt grateful that I really get a chance to REMEDY the issues.
And in that breath, I say: I’m living a different life than I’ve lived up until now. I want LOVE and PEACE and HAPPINESS. I am living that life now. I am not running away from what I need to repair and re-do and recreate. I’m here. I’m glad to be here. I almost died in a car accident in 2001. It is not irrational that I could be with a bullet in my head right now, instead of typing on my laptop to someone or no one. And because I’m still here, I’m going to take advantage of it and be the best me that I’m destined to be, for me, for those I adore, for the world around me.
Let’s keep on walking, keep on being better than we were before, keep on learning, living, loving, laughing.