Sunday, October 7, 2012
The roads were open wide as my brother and I took a leisurely afternoon drive.
It had been a trying week and I think we both needed to get out of the house - and nothing like the wide open spaces of Sundays to take our thoughts elsewhere.
The open road slowed to a crawl as we reached an intersection. There was an excited crowd milling about - mostly a lot of youths hanging around the mini-park near where whatever it was that was causing the buildup happened.
"Away?" I asked, craning my neck.
"Nah," replied my brother. "Looks like an accident."
Neither of us could see what was really going on because oncoming jeepneys predictably slowed down to gawk at the scene and blocked our view.
I still thought there had been a brawl and, while mumbling about the rubberneckers slowing down traffic, nevertheless readied my own phone to snap a shot of whatever it was.
We inched closer to ground zero, and whatever it was slowly started to come into view.
And then there it was.
A white taxi.
An overturned bicycle.
And still entangled in the bicycle, what I thought was a young man.
He lay very still on the street where he fell. There was no blood. He must've broken his neck instantly on the concrete after the cab struck his bicycle.
The cab can't have been going very fast, for the bicycle was just lying right in front of the fender.
I gasped at the realization that I was looking at a corpse, where just moments ago there had been a living, breathing man. A man with a wife, possibly - a family, even. Family members who, at that moment, still had no idea what had befallen their loved one, while strangers like us gawked and gaped at his fate.
I had seen the remains of vehicular accident victims before, the most gruesome of which was a motorcyclist who had gotten entangled in the wheels of a ten-wheeler and consequently had his intestines paving a good red stretch of the highway.
I had flinched briefly then, but morbid curiosity won over and I took some shots.
We passed the scene - the empty white taxi as still as its victim, both seemingly frozen in time on the road - and went on our way.
My phone was still in my hand.
I had no need for a picture.