Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Day, The Place, The Time

Driving in Julian, coming back from the cold mountain gold mines and their ghosts, our car full of family was motioned to the right by a policeman with a flash light. We banked right and followed the other cars moved off the road, drove up and through winding stretches until delivered back onto the main road. Mr. Curry driving. I craned my neck around, stretched to see, and saw. A body, lying in the middle of the road, covered in yellow tarp. I turned back quickly, met Mr. Curry's eyes. Lola, ever vigilant of the slightest change of atmosphere, peered at me. What is is, Mom? I replied A car accident, sweetie. That's all. That is all. A body in the middle of the road. A cop so shaken up that he screamed angrily at a woman driver, near tears as she maneuvered her car from it's accidental wrong turn, back to the path. I watched the breeze blow gustily over scattered weeds on the dirt parking lot to our right. I looked up at the sky, the brightness and boldness of the sun. Heard the shouts of happy tourists visiting the town of apple pie. Listened to Lola humming and Ever babbling and Ian talking quietly to Mr. Curry. The hot seat of the car on my back. The warm cotton squeeze of socks against my soles. The smell of mountain air. The feel of cold air and hot sun blowsing across my arms and face in a prickling pleasure, the feel of my hair against my ears. The dry skin of my top puckered lip. The pressing of jeans into my stomach. The weight of my breasts against shirt, ready to nurse my baby. The clamor of a flock of birds over our heads as we left the car. This is the day and place and time that a man's life ended, just now, I thought. And I get to go on living.

I keep thinking about that.



Case Number: 11-02174
Name: Rogelio Malihan City of Residence: San Diego
DOB: 02/07/1958 Gender: Male
Place of Death: 2900 block of SR 79, Julian CA Place of injury: 2900 block of SR 79, Julian CA
Date/Time of Death: 10/8/2011 12:16:00 PM Date/Time injury: 10/08/2011 1150
Summary: The decedent a 53-year-old Asian male who resided in a home with his wife and son in the city of San Diego. On 10/08/11, the decedent was riding his motorcycle southbound on the SR 79 along with his son and close friend. The lead bike stopped due to traffic and the decedent had to slam on his breaks and went down, ejecting him into the northbound lane of the highway. Motorcyclist traveling northbound, tried to avoid him but he was struck by one of the motorcyclist. 911 was called and police responded to the location along with medics. Upon arrival, the decedent was found pulseless and apneic with severe trauma. Advanced cardiac life support was initiated but to no avail and death was pronounced. This office was notified and the section of the highway was closed and the scene secured pending my arrival. The examination will be tentatively scheduled for 10/09/11.
Cause of Death/Updated Cause of Death: Blunt force head and chest injuries
Contributing Conditions: None
Manner: Accident
Investigating Agency: CHP - El Cajon Next of kin notified? Yes


Elizabeth said...

Wow. Sobering, to say the least. And your writing as always evocative, painful, beautiful.

Petit fleur said...

It makes sense that you would think about it... Death is the great adviser according to many indigenous people. I have found this to be true in my life.

Although it seems like a violent way to die, it may have been perfect for him in a way. Many people say that they want to die doing something they love, and it sounded like a beautiful day... who knows?

I just hope the kids were not traumatized. It is very scary to experience that kind of thing.

Peace maggie.
xo

Ms. Moon said...

Exactly what Elizabeth said. You never know, do you?

starrlife said...

Whew - humbling.Sorry, not such a great blog pal lately. Working on it 'cause I miss you.

Drax said...

I certainly understand the impulse to transcribe one's thoughts and feelings when blundering into such a scene, but the inclusion of the raw data from the poor man's COD, no matter how one rationalizes it, is simply tasteless and crude. I know you meant no disrespect, but at the end of the post it's simply... tasteless and crude. I suspect you'll probably catch a lot of flack for this; sorry to be one of the naysayers. But it doesn't work, MM. Your inclusion of the "real-REAL" at the end of your blog post does nothing more than trivialize.

[Sounds harsh, sorry. You know I wuv you.]

D

Magpie said...

That's heartstopping.

Annie said...

I don't know what to say, other than to reflect, with you. I think it's telling, that as one life leaves, we think of the life we have, aware of every thought and bodily sensation.

Annie said...

I don't know what to say, other than to reflect, with you. I think it's telling that as one life leaves, we are aware of our own life, and every thought and bodily sensation.

Shelley E said...

wow- so sad. We (I) need to remember to live each day to the fullest, but sometimes it is so hard to do.

Love your writing!! :)

Maggie May said...

Drax it's OK, thanks for the reassurances of your 'tone', I appreciate it online where you can't tell the emotion.

I don't disagree with you, or agree. I'm not sure what to think. It was and is public access. I didn't go searching for it, it just popped up right away on my Google of Julian accident, when I went to see what happened. It struck me as very painful to see someone's life 'reduced' to that kind of report. Which struck me as an important part of what I was trying to convey in this post. The tenderness and depth of our experience of life, next to the complete horrible finality and impersonal nature of death.

Angella Lister said...

maggie, i get it. i understand why you wanted to put up the death report. i think you honor the man with your words.

Drax said...

XO

NodToStyle said...

so so sad.
i worry about my boyfriend all the time on his bike and he was riding in that area a couple days ago, this really struck a chord with me..

Caroline said...

Powerful. Painful.

Each time I think I'm reading your writing at its best--it just gets better.

Life is such a funny thing, huh? We just never know...

Dada G. said...

I'm a very close relative of the deceased and I don't feel offended by this blog. I get it. If it will help others appreciate more the life they have right now and realize just how unpredictable it can be(hence, the need to live it well),then I guess his passing will have served some purpose/impact on other people's lives.
"The body, lying in the middle of the road" for those who didn't get to know him was no ordinary man; he was the epitome of generosity. He was generous with his love, his time, his kindness, his possessions, his talents.WE WILL SURELY MISS HIM....

Maggie May said...

Dada I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you found this, and came to express the kind of person your loved one was. And I'm very glad you felt the care with which I wrote and felt his loss. xo

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