When I was in the shower Tuesday morning, he was stepping off the bus. I wasn't thinking of him and no doubt he wasn't thinking of me. We had never met. We never will. When I drove to work, I saw him on the street. A white sheet covered him. Police cars were everywhere, so many police cars. A fire truck. A news truck. People standing on the grassy median. I was westbound, he was in the eastbound lane. I lost my breath. I began to cry. Because it was just too much, to see a body that was no doubt so recently a life.
When I got to the office, I searched every five minutes or so for news of the accident. His name, I would learn, was Carl. He was a mentally challenged 60-year old. He stepped off the bus at 6:30, on his way to a job he held for over 20 years. When he crossed the street, he was hit by a car. That driver stopped. The second car that hit him ran over him. That driver did not stop. The two coworkers who were on the bus with him ran for help. The first driver desperately tried to help him. But it was too much, and it was too late.
I thought about him most of the day yesterday, I wondered about those who loved him, who knew him. I imagined his life. I grieved that it has ended.