Last night I didn’t kill or maim someone — but I could have. As I drove home last night from the gym at exactly 7:24, I was struck by the randomness of life. As a made my way home on Green Street in the November darkness an oncoming car’s headlights played right in my eyes, rendering it difficult to see for a moment. When the car passed, I saw twenty five feet off of the nose of my Honda Pilot, a 14-or so year old in a dark hooded sweatshirt and jeans walking in the middle of my lane with his back to me. His friend, the one with the brains — I assume — was on the sidewalk. I jumped on my brakes and swerved around.
The kid in the street seemed oblivious to what could have happened. I thought how lucky we both were that at that very moment I hadn’t been traveling 5 mph hour faster, that the oncoming car was not 2 mph slower, or that I hadn’t needed to change the channel on the radio. Nor had I looked down at my phone to check to see if I had a text. Because none of those things happened and myriad others did — both of our lives are just as they were yesterday. I got up and went to work today, and he got up and went to school. It was random for sure. But fortunate.
If you’re wondering if I pulled over to give him an earful, I didn’t. Right or wrong, I decided that doing so was only going to get me the finger and a “shut up old man.” So here we are today, both of us, back to normal. And we both had everything happen right. Everything we didn’t control.