tonight the moon was too bright

The FX I was riding from Fairview to Philcoa hit a woman. The impact was so great the front-end bumper of the van crumpled, the windshield cracked, the woman’s body flew three meters from the vehicle. I was in the passenger seat. The driver looked crazed. The first thing I did was get out of the van. I wanted to remove myself from the site of death. I walked to the side of the road. The only other passenger wanted to leave immediately. I said, Ate, let’s stay and wait for the police. People surrounded the body and didn’t let the driver get away. There was much shouting and honking. Somebody said the woman’s skull was cracked. Somebody else said she still had a pulse. I am trained in basic life support and first aid but I didn’t touch the body. I didn’t want to gaze at the body. I held the shoulder of the other passenger, who looked like she was about to cry. The police arrived. They took some pictures. They made some calls. They didn’t mind us. Ate said, let’s ask them if we can leave. I said, maybe they need our testimonies. We walked towards the police. I did the talking. The woman had sprinted across a part of the road no pedestrian should cross. The traffic light was green. The driver had been driving too fast. He had been pushing almost 120 kilometers per hour in a road that allowed only sixty. But it was a quarter to eleven and the road was dark and relatively clear. The driver had been hunched over the wheel and looked only at the road. The driver looked manic, crazed, and he had been driving too fast, so fast I was conscious of my body in the vehicle speeding. The moment I looked at the speedometer and saw that we were going over 100kph was the moment I realized we were going to hit a woman. Her body suddenly in front of the vehicle, the green light still bright, the vehicle going too fast to stop. Her body flinging. The policeman said, even if she jaywalked, it was still the driver’s fault. He had his eyes on the road. The policeman told us, you’re free to go. Ate and I rode another FX to our stops, but I haven’t gone home. I keep thinking of the speeding van, the body sprinting across the road, the body illuminated by the car lights a split-second before she hit the van or the van hit her, the body twisting, splayed facedown on the asphalt, illuminated by a street lamp, a sari-sari store’s fluorescent bulb, Christmas lights, LED from smartphones filming the body, and above the din, the sin, everything, the moon, full, too bright. If only the van or the body weren’t moving so fast, if only the driver or the woman didn’t only look ahead, at one point in the road, maybe we could have avoided a collision. It was such a meaningless death, such a stupid way to kill and to die. We say “Ingat” to each other all the time, but why are we still so careless?

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