Monday, June 13, 2011

The Loser Kind of, Sort of, Saves a Life

toppled traffic light

At some point children think about what it would be like to kill someone. Not out of anger or revenge, just to have an impact on events. This is true of boys more than girls, who think more often of creating life more than ending it, and the age it occurs is around 10 and into the early teens.
The Complete and Total Loser began thinking of it when he was ten. His older brother, age 12, was sitting at his desk doing homework and The Loser realized he could smash his head with a heavy object and kill him. His brother would never grow up and have children and those children would never have children. Something so simple would have huge effects that would reverberate, even increase, as decades, then centuries, passed. Wow, thought the young Loser.
The Loser didn't hurt his brother, of course, and the two get along fine, though he did throw a fork at him four years later, hitting him in the hand.
Saturday, June 11. The Loser is headed for his low-level retail job. He's on his bicycle waiting for a red light to change at an intersection that is not the one pictured but near it and similarly a site of a fair number of accidents. Traffic is extremely light. A woman in her early 20s is across the street and waits to cross, having completed her morning run. An SUV approaches from the Loser's left, in the right lane, its right turn signal on. The woman glances in both directions, assumes the vehicle is turning and starts to trot across the four lane road. The car doesn't turn and the two are headed for a one-sided conflict. The Loser, not a fast thinker, nonetheless shouts "Stop! Look out!" to the woman, who stops abruptly. The car swerves, misses her by a yard or so and continues on. The danger over, the woman finishes crossing the street. The Loser, having a paternal streak, chides the woman, saying, "At least look!" She looks at him mutely, her mouth open, and continues on, wordlessly. 
The Loser hopes the woman has a long and happy life.

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