Colliding Separately



This morning driving into work I passed a two-car fender bender on the road…a sedan driven by a woman had apparently rear-ended a truck driven by a man. A police cruiser added to the line-up, creating a three-car pile-up end to end in the right-hand lane.

These three people were stopping traffic and all had an urgent matter to deal with…exchanging information and moving the cars out of the road as soon as possible.

However…the cop was in his car on his radio…the woman driver was standing behind her car, talking on her cell phone…and the man driver was walking along side his truck, talking on his cell phone.

I found it odd that people could collide physically and still manage a way to distance themselves from one another so completely.


7 Responses to “Colliding Separately”

  1. shrewspeaks Says:

    Hmmmm…faced with physical contact as traumatic as that don’t we all shrink to our comfy worlds? Not saying it is right, just human. What I find so astonishing is the reverse in this wacky cyber-world. Imagine how close we all have come, some talking with strangers via the internet who may never have the gumption in real life…or those faced with the prospect of meeting their cyber friends like the accident victems, may shrink away….choosing to collide separately

  2. Shelley Says:

    Shrew…you’re right.

    I guess I was thinking about how things were before the days of cell phones and the few times I’ve had wrecks…even bad ones.

    True…the worse the wreck…the more likely I was to sit alone on the side of the road and cry until the police came. But, even when the wrecks caused tempers to flare…I found that I would at least chit-chat with the other person involved until the cops showed up. I may not have wanted to…but I did.

    But now that we have that option to “flee the scene” technology-wise it seems we are apt to take that option more and more. Car wrecks, meetings, trips to the store, taking a walk in the neighborhood, etc…I’m so guilty of secluding myself in public…be it with an iPod or laptop or cell phone.

    About the cyber-world…true. It’s odd how folks from around the nation and world have such a passion for one another on screen. It’s such a bizarre feeling to have a connection with someone you’ve never touched or seen or smelled or heard. It’s at once more intimate and more distancing.

    I have found that I behave and share things online that I wouldn’t normally share in conversations with people in person. But then that begs the question…if I’m naturally more guarded (which most folks are, I’m sure) am I truly sharing my real self online…or am I holding my virtual friends at arms lenghth with a facade of myself?

    Aaackk…who knows.

    I will say this…when Gray said he was going off line…I was so torn. Yeah, I’m sad about the site, but I wanted to reach out to him as a person.

    It feels odd to sever ties with someone you’ve really never met. I had a hard time sleeping last night because I felt compelled to call Gray…to tell him I cared and that he’d be missed….but, sadly, that was not possible…because with as much as we shared online…we kept our communication options limited.

  3. Reordberend Says:

    Here’s one of those times that the post-blog comments made me think more than the actual blog, which is an irony in itself. I am struck by your observation that we are often guilty of secluding ourselves in public. Especially in the city, it sometimes seems that everyone you pass is either on the cell phone or listening to the i-pod…with the convenient mega-long earphone lines that allow you to cut yourself off from society in any situation that you can imagine. Maybe that doesn’t bother some people as much as it does me…but I like the idea of living in community where I am instead of in techno-privacy or virtually. Here’s a new trick I’ve been doing: turning off the music while driving. For some reason that forces me to engage my own thoughts so that I have other times to “be busy.” Alright, I’m getting back to work….

  4. Shelley Says:

    reordberend…funny that you mention turning off the music in the car.

    Until about four months ago, when I bought my used 1998 Honda CVR, I drove a little Isuzu truck with no AC and no…gasp…radio. For seven years I was without radio in the car. It did make me focus on myself and my own thoughts…and believe me…I went a little stir crazy (especially on my 3-hour drives down Hwy 49 to visit my family in Biloxi).

    Having my iPod blast while I drive now is so soothing. The funny thing is…I seem to be MORE observant of my environment…it’s like my music is the soundtrack to my own private movie…the one I watch on the IMax screens that are my car windows.

    It kind of cracks me up…or makes me cry…depending on what’s playing.

  5. cuz of yours Says:

    Yes, it is a shame that even when God allows such a thing to happen our society has figured out a way for people to still be seperate, removed from what is really happening to them. What is this? I think it is a self defense! If they never actually have to deal with things head on/with a person then maybe life is a little safer? Who knows!

  6. Shelley Says:

    cuz of yours…interesting view.

    Um…cuz? Are you a “cuz” of mine?

  7. suzi-q Says:

    I like this idea of sharing thoughts that otherwise would be thought of and then forgotten. Perhaps our need as humans should be to have the introspection to frame ourselves in our world and then remove the frame for an active role in life. Example…two men came up to our 31/2 acre lot and parked at the road to approach the door several hundred feet away from the road to ask if we wanted a quote on “stump grinding”. Oddly enough my husband and I had been discussing this very thing an hour before. After the deal was set and watching the power of a “grinder” hone away enormous stumps (trees downed after a hit and miss from Katrina)conversation ensued over a glass of iced sweet tea:) about so many topics that the two men left us without stumps but with a warm uplifted feeling of friendship that if we met again, I would have to give them a hug. Stepping outside the frame is extremely important.

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