It was 6:30 in the morning and I was running late for work again. I had a quick shower and threw on clothes. Outside the window, I saw snow swaying back and forth. The sky was gray and so was my mood. I hated being late to work. I got in my car and merged onto the freeway. All of a sudden, the flow of traffic stopped and I had to slam on my brakes. What the hell was going on?? I was going to be so late. The road was a little icy, so maybe there had been a wreck. I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I gnawed at my lip, like I do when I am stressed. We inched forward. Then I heard the sirens, several of them. ‘Must be a bad wreck’, I said to myself. I took out my headphones to listen for more sirens. There was more coming. Probably a really bad wreck. Should I turn around? Should I wait? Will we get moving soon? All the selfish thoughts a person could have came rushing into my mind. I noticed how selfish I was, tried to adjust my thinking, as the traffic inched forward. More sirens came whizzing by in a blur of blue and red. My 10 minute commute had now been 30 and I had hardly moved at all. Still selfish. I was finally able to inch forward enough to see where all the sirens had stopped. I got out my phone to record it; still, so selfish. My cheap phone was being slow again, so I tossed it onto the passenger side seat and looked at the cars that had been involved in the accident. Yep, definitely was a nasty one. I hoped everyone was going to be okay, but looking at the vehicles, I didn’t think that was likely. There had to have been 5 police cars, 3 ambulances, 2 fire trucks, and 6 cars that had been involved in the wreck. All stopped in the lane that was heading north. Luckily for me, I was headed south, and the right lane was still open for us. I was able to pass by the accident and get to work only 30 minutes late. The wreck couldn’t leave my thoughts and I had to look it up on the news. One person had died in it. One person had died, and all I could think about as I was sitting there in traffic, was my shitty morning. I reflected, just briefly, on how selfish I am.
As I drove home from work later that day, I passed by the spot where the wreck had been that morning. It was empty now. No sign of death lingered there any longer. Traffic flowed smoothly. I wondered how many people had driven right by it today, and had no idea that they were driving over the place where someone lost their life. I wondered how many people, like me, were being selfish in their thinking, as they made their morning commute to work. I wondered how many of those people had already forgotten about the accident. This morning, this road had been a place of death, injury, trauma and stress. Now, it was only a road again. Something felt wrong about this to me. I pressed the pedal to the floor and sped by.