I was in my work truck, driving south on the main freeway here in Vegas, headed back to the shop. Traffic had started to thicken up a bit, just enough to where you have to tap on the brakes as the car in front of you gets closer. Suddenly, a white sedan in the far left lane came skidding across from the edge of my peripheral vision and flew backside first across five packed lanes of heavy traffic. It finally came to a stop, facing backwards, in the painted divider between the slow lane and the off ramp. I looked as I went past just a split second later and the woman had the same astonished look everyone else had. She hadn’t touched a single vehicle, despite the crowded freeway just before rush hour.
I was watching “60 Minutes” a couple of weeks ago, and they had a report on an old film had been discovered recently. It was 11 minutes long and documented the early days of downtown San Francisco. The filmmaker had strapped a turn of the century camera to the front of a trolley car and let it roll while it made its way down Market Street. It was fascinating to watch the sunset of the horse and buggy era alongside the dawn of the horseless carriage days. The people were obviously fascinated by this contraption mounted on the trolley, with many stopping to stare as it went past. The date of the film? April 1906, just days before the incredibly destructive 1906 earthquake that killed about 3,000 people. It still stands as the highest death toll for a natural disaster in California’s history.
The point is, the woman in the white sedan was in shock because, by all rights, she should be wearing a toe tag right now. The people in the vintage film? They didn’t have a clue. And that’s how it is. When it’s your time, it’s your time.
I eat right (though Mom and I agree to disagree on what that entails) and I basically exercise for a living, walking between 5 and 20 miles a day before I even get home from work. I take a multi-vitamin, a probiotic, extra B-complex, magnesium, iodine and fish oil. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and I don’t eat sugar, grains or artificial anything.
And I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.
Now I’m not going to say anything about how I want to leave a legacy or any of that crap. Seriously, I’ll be dead. If I have any clue what’s going on down here on earth, I highly doubt I’ll be stressing over how I should have done this or that, or what people will think of me. I’ll be DEAD, people, and that’s pretty serious!
But it does make me wonder if I’ll really have a tomorrow to tell the people I love that they’re important to me. And it does make me want to actually finish that novel I’ve been writing off and on (mostly off). And it does make me realize the nachos I had for lunch really weren’t that big of a deal after all.
Link to the San Francisco trolley video – seriously, it’s fascinating: