Thursday, February 09, 2006


He was laying against the concrete divider of the New Jersey Turnpike, naked except for underwear and jeans around his ankles. It was 10:30 at night, 35 degrees and raining. Juan had just run across the highway and been hit by a car. His leg was broken, arm was broken, dislocated and backwards, he had head injuries, cuts and scrapes all over and was quickly becoming hypothermic. He spoke only Spanish, but couldn't communicate much.

Kris' mom is an ER nurse. She checked him out and held his head till the cops got there with a tin foil blanket. After that we just tryed to keep him awake till the ambulance got there.

Hundreds of people drove by. One other person stopped. We were three cars back from the hit. No one in between the crash and us stopped. How do you drive by someone who's been hit by a car? Probably the same way you don't apologize to the person you just hit.

I don't know why Juan ran across the highway, as clogged as rush hour. Some despiration that I might never know. He had a red hospital tag on, maybe that's what he ran from. The system, the sterility, the lack of communication? Maybe he's back in the system now. Deeper in it, too.

If you're a praying type, say one for Juan.


Anonymous a shizzle said...


that's a bit of a downer. the whole way around.

running across the NJTpke is craaazy.

not stopping is comprehensible. the world can be very indifferent. it doesn't have to be, but it mostly is.

some people need taken care of; they can't be responsible for themselves. I hope Juan is ok.


12:24 PM  
Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

metaphor, yo.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous a shizzle said...

I feel violated.

12:46 PM  
Blogger shaky detritovore said...

No A-diz, you have not been violated. And Juan was violated.

It was true story. Olaf is simply pointing out that Juan's experience on the highway provides a good parallel for the experience of many minorities in this place/time.

Sorry for the confusion.

2:31 PM  
Blogger shaky detritovore said...

That should be "minorities". It's not a very practical term, but I suppose it works.

No offense meant if taken.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous a shizzle said...

no offense taken.

though you did have me confused.

more to come.

5:39 PM  

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