[[groovy musics: "Psychotic Reaction," ktru, dancing crazy to wild in the streets]]

2:04 a.m. // 28 July 2004

My conscience is clear, sort of. At least, no one died in spite of (because of) my neglect. A sin of omission.

Saturday night -- Sunday, really -- I came home from work late. Actually, I stayed at work late playing on the Internet. Dwayne and Josh's "other" band (joined by David Landrest) was doing their sleazy jazz for the hot-rod set down in Dallas, so that's where the party was. I was not at the party. I kicked off my shoes and read and read in peace and quiet. (It Must've Been Something I Ate, if you were wondering.)

Around 2:20 a.m. I hear the squeal of brakes and a huge crash. I am worried, but I think back to the time I saw a crash outside my house on Panhandle and it was little more than a fender-bender. I put on my shoes and go to the window, then go outside to the stairs. I can't see anything, and I assume it's a drunk driver who's hit something immobile on the Square, so I shrug it off and retreat to the couch.

Few minutes later, the sirens kick in. From the window I watch the firetruck to see where it goes. It stops somewhere behind the City Hall building that blocks my view, which is not where I thought the accident was. I go outside and that's when I see the smoke. A few blocks down on Elm there's a car on fire!

Hiro happens to be on my corner. We watch the firefighters put out the flames. When the smoke clears we see the utility pole that's lying across Elm Street. I didn't see paramedics do anything, but the ambulance drives away, no sirens.

(Hiro wishes he had taken some shots of the fire, but he was mildly embarrassed because he was only in a T-shirt and shorts. He likes to look respectable when shooting breaking news. Plus he was on vacation.)

There was no news of the accident in Monday's paper or Tuesday's. But a few hours after it happened I was plagued with wondering what could I have done if I'd been first on the scene, as I very likely would've been -- on a relatively quiet street a few blocks away. Would I have had to drag the driver out of the car? Could I have gotten hit by the falling pole, or the flopping live wire that must've been there? Shouldn't I at least have called 911?

Yeah, to that last question, at the very least. Next time I won't be so lame. Donna told me today she didn't hear of any traffic fatalities from the police this weekend, so I think my conscience is free from any major black marks. For now.


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