Monday, March 22, 2010

Wreck Ahead

The other day while driving to work, I saw two wrecks.

The second wreck had the most advertising: signs exclaiming Wreck Ahead; signs saying Right Lane Closed--like movie posters, getting audiences all anxious for the release. And like on opening night, the line was just as slow and long.

Now, if I wrote wreck reviews I'd say the actual product didn't live up to the hype. Only shattered glass remained by the time I reached the scene of the accident. And for me, that's a blessed five out of five stars.

The first wreck had been much worse.

No signs had advertised it. In fact it was so fresh, no one had cleaned up the mess. They just had a truck parked a little in advance, flashing its emergency lights. I caught enough of a glimpse to be sick: a motorcycle in the ditch, and something all over the road. Seriously, I almost wept.

At the end of the day, I searched the news. Turns out someone died in the second wreck--the one I didn't see--but the motorcyclist from the first one survived. He'd hit a deer--and it was the deer I'd seen ripped and twisted into chunks.

Somehow that made me feel better, the fact that I hadn't seen a human corpse. But it made me wonder why it should be that I suddenly didn't care.

Recommended poem: "Traveling Through The Dark" by William Stafford


Randi said...

Deer are killed on a daily basis and depending on where you live you might see more or less of their corpses in your lifetime. I imagine seeing another human's internal organs is worse because it's like taking a sneak peek at your own "insides". It also brings up issues that people struggle with - like dealing with their own mortality. Maybe that is why you no longer cared?

D.L. Snell said...

Thanks for the comment, Randi.

I've certainly seen my share of dead deer. In fact, my mom used to hit them so often we started calling her Deer Slayer.

Randi said...

Yikes! Although the reasons behind the name are not the greatest - "Deer Slayer" has kind of a ring to it. Maybe it could be the name for a new psychedelic pop band? ;-)

Jessica Foster said...

I try not to look at accidents, for the fact that I don't want to risk seeing a dead, mangled human body. It scares me.

D.L. Snell said...

Jessica, I couldn't agree more. As much as I love the horror genre, real violence disturbs me on so many levels: the two most apparent ones are fear of personal mortality and empathy for the family of the deceased.

What bothers me more is that some people out there purposefully inflict harm. But thankfully most of us seem to be pretty decent folks.