I headed down Troost this morning shivering in the frigid car, stiff fingers nestled in the soft leather gloves that I got when we lost my mother-in-law. I found them in her top dresser drawer, unworn, still in their box. I slid them onto my hands and my sister-in-law laughed in the delightful, unrestrained way she has. She said, If the glove fits! and they became mine.
I checked the thermostat. Ten degrees. That is not many degrees, I heard my son say, as he has said so many times. True, that. My eyes darted back to the road, as a siren’s wail cut through the morning air. A police car streaked past me and I pulled over, startled, worried.
An ambulance had stopped in the middle of the road just ahead of me. I could not tell what lie beyond it until I pulled slowly forward. Then I saw: A small blue car, maybe a Honda, smashed against a tree, angled onto the sidewalk, driver’s door hanging open, signal light blinking: on, off, on, off. A police officer stood with his hands on his hips, unmoving. No one else hovered in the road, nor on the sidewalk. I lifted my foot off the gas, letting my vehicle drift. I gazed at the mangled car; at the still and silent man studying its crumbled fender and bent hood. On, off, on, off. No sound broke the silence.
The ambulance remained stationary as I drove past. I pulled my eyes forward and stared at the traffic ahead of me and wondered. As I drove to the place where I would turn to travel east to the highway, I glanced in the rear view mirror. The officer had not moved. The ambulance’s lights still flashed in the cold bright morning. Nothing had changed.
I kept driving. As I signaled for the merge to 71-North, I could not stop myself from thinking, there, but for the grace, go I.