Wednesday, October 22, 2008

9:15 AM

There are two tall candles with pictures of saints on the curb. There is a black, plastic bag lying where her head was. There are two men in paint-covered clothes, laughing, waiting to cross the street where her body hit the windshield.

The windshield was shattered. The frame was dented. The man they were handcuffing looked calm. I thought I saw him curse at the officer. They stood next to the men who were crouching by the woman, pumping her chest. She didn't move. They pumped over and over. She didn't move.

Her shoes were off. I wondered if they came off as she flew off the hood of the car. I wondered if the men took them off her. I wondered why they would need to take her shoes off.

They lifted her on to the stretcher. Her stomach was exposed as her t-shirt slid up. I wondered if she had put thought into what she would wear. I wondered here she was going. I wondered about the people who needed to be called.

I thought about that very first moment on the phone. When they ask for her loved one and identify themselves and the person on the other end enters into a world that begins with panic and ends somewhere else very far away.

In that very first moment the blood rushes to your ears. Every part of your body pulls in. When thought returns, decisions need to be made. What do you need to do? What do you need to bring? Who will be there? Who should you call? How quickly can you get there? If she is alive, for how long will she be? If she is dead, how long has she been? What were you doing at that moment?

Molly saw a dead cat on 13th street. She walked by the spot every day. I don't know if that was supposed to remind her, or to help her forget.

I wonder how many times it will take me walking by to forget her blood-covered face.