To The Person Who Ran Me Down With His Small Ugly Gold-Colored Car
You and I recently had an anniversary. October to October.
How was the year for you?
I believe that mine was just about the worst of my life.
Do you remember driving your small ugly gold-colored car into me?
Do you remember seeing me fall backward, smashing my head onto the concrete of the parking lot?
Do you remember backing your small ugly gold- colored car away from me, then glancing back, perhaps to see if I were badly injured? Perhaps dead?
As you sped away on Twelve Mile did you give a moment’s thought to what you’d just done? And what kind of person you are? Thoughtless? Uncaring? Barely a cell or two above rats and roaches? So what have you been doing since that sunny Wednesday? Avoiding the parking lot at Twelve Mile and Evergreen for fear someone might recognize your small ugly gold-colored car? Might recognize the subhuman driving it?
So how has your year been? Mine started by feeling the front of your small ugly gold-colored car slamming into me. Then being strapped onto some kind of board . Or litter. I really don’t remember. Then loaded like a sack of something into the back end of an ambulance and rushed to a hospital where I first spent many hours in the ICU.
Then two months in a regular hospital room. Then struggling to learn again how to walk. Amusing myself by flirting with the cute young girls in the therapy unit. One was a dancer who’d taught Rockettes style dancing and who would send a smile up the spokes of my wheelchair with an occasional brief private performance of a dance step or two. Kayleigh. Adorable.
Well, I did learn to walk again. Mostly. I still need someone’s hand or shoulder or some kind of mechanical device to keep me from falling and renewing one of the dreadful injuries you caused. The docs call it TBI. Traumatic brain injury. It often used to be called concussion, an event that fills the skull with blood, causes swelling of the brain, and impairs many bodily functions, such as walking, remembering, speaking, and others.
I’ve now seen my brain a number of times after some of the many cat scans I’ve had. I’ll bet that your brain looks much like mine. Although likely empty. I think mine looks quite like the brown butcher paper that’s crumpled for the trash after unwrapping the brisket. On the other hand, perhaps you don’t have a brain at all. Or you wouldn’t have left me lying on the concrete while you sped away from my immobile body. After you hit me with your small ugly gold-colored car.
Did you know that leaving the scene of an injury accident brings a $10,000 fine? Did you know that leaving the scene of an injury accident brings 15 years of your meaningless life in a state penitentiary for the felony you committed.
Perhaps you feel relieved that in a year of our searching through the sewers where you likely live, neither the Southfield police nor the private detectives my family hired have been able to find you. Meanwhile, I’ve grown somewhat content that you’re now living in the penitentiary of your evil, felonious mind. And that you likely know that no matter how fervently you try to stop it, you’ll be forever tormented by the harm and agony you’ve thrust upon me.
Why didn’t you stop to help me? No driver’s license? No insurance? It wasn’t your car? There was a warrant out on you for some other crime? You were late for an appointment? With your psychiatrist? Your parole officer? How could you leave me lying there, bleeding, knowing what you’d done?
That first night in the hospital, filled with pain, with pain-killing drugs, and anger, I hoped you’d be found so I could cause you harm. Maybe bash your head against a concrete road. Or a brick wall. Watch you fall to the ground. Blood flowing fitfully from your smashed and otherwise empty skull. After a couple of weeks that I was in such torment, with family telling me that I had to let go of notions to punish you, to get even. Friends, including Rabbi Joey, telling me that I had to let go. That by carrying my hate for you endlessly I was burdening myself with hope for revenge, that it was as unlikely a development as you coming to my hospital room with confession, contrition, and a box of cookies.
No. Now, after a year, I’ve come to a time of both sufficient physical healing and emotional recovery to be content that the rest of the suffering is for you alone. That to your final breath you will carry awareness of the wickedness and the immorality you visited onto me. That the pain I first suffered at the front of your small ugly gold-colored car eventually will ease. And that the pain of what you did will forever swirl within you. That sometime before that dreadful moment in October a year ago, you’d had your last peaceful day.