Saturday, July 26, 2008

26th July
I was on the way to the beauty salon yesterday and I heard a thump on the road beside me.

It's a strange kind of noise a car makes when it strikes human flesh.

I turned round, and there was a woman lying on the road. She'd been hit by the big four wheeled drive that had come to a halt just in front of her.

We were on the five lane road that leads to Haymarket station: she must have been crossing with the lights against her, weaving through all that traffic, and hadn't quite made it to the pavement.

I went to her to offer help, but she was on her feet already, looking shocked and frightened, and would only say:

"I'm allright. It was my fault. I'm allright"

Before taking refuge in the pub doorway. While the man she was with was yelling abuse at the driver, who was sitting there, shocked and pale looking, in the driver's seat of his enormous, gleaming, brand new four wheel drive.

The woman's companion was burly and muscled and covered in tatoos and he was shouting at the driver with truly frightening violence.

"Come on out you stupid fucker! Come on out your fucking car!"

The man obviously had huge amounts of aggression stored up in him, and he was desperate for an outlet for them.

Obviously he had to bear some responsibility for what had happened, for being so stupid to cross a five lane road. I guessed he had made the woman do it too: and some sense of guilt and of his own stupidity, which he simply could not acknowledge, was fuelling his rage.

And that probably the woman was more frightened of him and than of the car which had so nearly killed her.

And the driver just sat there, pale and shocked and silent. Safe in his enormous vehicle.

He was well off; they both looked poor.

The whole incident was a kind of emblem of the madness and the violence of our times.

As was my response to it.

I didn't know what to do: and I just walked away.

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