“Does Earth plug a hole in Heaven, or Heaven plug a hole in Earth?”
On Monday, I had to rise early because a man was coming to haul away the debris in the backyard. I took the opportunity to have a smoke. There were lots of birds this year, and they all began to sing as the sun rose. I walked around smoking, imagining my garden as it would be, imagining the summer to come. After an hour of fiddling around like this, I decided to drive down to the dry cleaners. I had to retrieve a pair of blue silk trousers. The dry cleaners were located in Nob Hill. They would open at 7 am.
So, on my early Monday morning drive, I passed by the intersection of Carlisle and Coal. There were no other autos on the road, owing to the time of day. There was an indication however, that something significant had happened, that some horrible power had been unleashed earlier, where these two streets met. The southeast corner of the crossroads was piled with broken safety glass and a lone robin stood amongst the nearby weeds picking at the ground. But the craziest thing, the most tellingly terrible thing I saw on that corner was this: the eight-foot tall "one way" sign had been transformed. The steel post had been bent into a metal pretzel. The sign itself was dangling and coming apart where it joined the post.
And the force needed to produce such effects?
Certainly not friendly to flesh and blood.
As I would learn later in the day, that place had been the site of a fatal automobile collision which was almost certainly caused by drinking alcohol and then driving around half–conscious in a two ton conglomeration of steel and inertia. The collision had taken place very early the morning of May 9. According to published reports, a young woman (19 years old) had been driving east on Coal at 30 miles per hour. As she entered the intersection at 12:07 AM, another automobile, driven by a suspected drunken driver, ran the red light, headed south on Carlisle. The vectors of the two vehicles intersected. The young woman was killed instantly. The driver of the other car was not killed. He and two passengers, the local daily reported, attempted to flee the scene in its aftermath. They were intercepted by authorities, blocks away.
Nolberto Gonzales, age 40, is being held on charges related to this incident. He is being held at the Metro Detention Center, on a $50,000 bond. He has two previous DWI arrests and a history of lawlessness and anti-social behavior.
On Monday I stayed outside late to watch the waxing crescent moon set. I took the opportunity to have another smoke. There were lots of insects this year, and the crickets began singing at nightfall. I walked around smoking, contemplating the life that had been taken, contemplating the depth of the fissure, which was spreading through our town, and into my neighborhood.