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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

June 03, 2011

Complacency


It’s early afternoon and the road towards Ticari is easy and dry.  It’s a little longer and straighter than the previous 100 kilometres so the speed picks up and the mild drone of the road sets in. Deya leads in the number one position and I hang back a little further than usual noting that my attention is waning at the easy pace. 

There’s a lot of truck traffic on this road but again, it’s easy and the drivers are not totally insane.  Directly ahead of us is a small car, Deya is at a respectable distance.  Ahead of the car about 500 metres is a pack of three dogs on the right hand side of the road mingling as dogs often do.  One of the dogs, having just crossed the road to greet the other two has a sniff and begins his return.  He’s probably made this trip a hundred times before, in defence of his turf or maybe just because of the shear boredom of being a dog in Latin America.

The dog is beige, maybe female, short haired with the appearance of terrier or some well muscled bread, thick neck and jaw and I’ve decided to name her Pat.  Pat is not a young dog, maybe five years of age and likely looks at you with the hope of a morsel or at least an affectionate rub on the head or back.  She looks like she is probably good with kids and would not chase a cat if one was present.

Pat had finished her routine and was heading back to her home from work or whatever she was doing and noted the car coming that preceded Deya.  Deya remarked that she felt she should have beeped her horn to alert Pat to the oncoming chaos.  If the car had hit Pat she would have been thrown right into our path, most likely, and we would have had a moment of action to contend with.  But Pat, being a veteran of this road, kept an eye on the car and very lazily crossed out in front knowing very well that the car would swerve slightly and that she would cross the centre line with plenty of room to spare.

Of course Pat, having been there before, was right; the car swerved slightly to the side and Pat, never taking her eyes of the car had made it across the centre line just in time, not having to increase her pace at all.  Pat was all that and why should she waste the calories in this most tedious of repetitive tasks?

The bottom of the big shinny bumper on the fifteen tonne truck was the first thing to contact Pat, right in the head, knocking her down. She had ended so precisely in the path of an oncoming transport truck, looking the other way, lazily strolling familiar territory it looked almost as if planned.  The truck hit his brakes but not enough to jeopardize his load, himself or the other motor vehicles, he did it right.

As Pat got hit in the head, never actually seeing the truck, she fell to the ground right in front of the driver side tire.  The tire ran over her upper chest area, she didn’t even compare to a tiny speed bump, she was instantly killed.  Exiting the front tire she rolled twice before being trampled by the four wheels on two axles of the rear carriage of the truck.  The wider tire base ran over the bulk of her body leaving only the head and behind unscathed. The effect was dramatic!

The pressure produced in her chest cavity literally exploded Pat’s organs out of her stomach and anus.  There was a five meter diameter yellowish, crimson mist of bodily fluids permeating the road right in front of us.  Pat’s parts were strewn loosely over the road as she lay there limply, looking towards home.  I thought briefly of pulling over and dragging her corpse off the road but realized that the treads of traffic would likely be better than a bloated rotten corpse in a ditch, stinking for a month. The world would slow, just for a second, but nobody would stop.  I think we can all expect the same.

Deya and I blasted through the smoke and fire of Pat’s cloud of life like two fighter pilots zapping a bogie.  Deya slightly traumatized was rethinking the scene, questioning herself and her actions.  Should she have hit her horn, would Pat have awoken from her slumber to realize the frailty of life or would she have snapped out of her complacent demeanour and doubled back only to be hit by the car?  This was Deya’s lesson and her struggle to accept, the guilt of not being guilty and the finality of the judgement handed so easily to us living folks.

I was, however oddly, a little pleased with the incident.  We had just witnessed a dramatic kill, simple, straightforward with not pretence or reason other than a complacent dog looking the wrong way on a two way road.  Pat was killed fast, she never suffered and it was clear why this happened and it made me smile.  Senseless, no, it was just life and the subtle reminder of how finite this life is was there splayed all over the road.

It could have been my guts or Deya’s and the only difference would be some of the traffic stopping.  And one day, when my turn comes and life issues its final task to me I can only hope it is not because of complacency.






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