Wednesday, February 25, 2009

who what where when why

the rain like a mist was falling through the headlights of the pickup truck that had crashed into the mid-sized sedan in the middle of the intersection at Sutter and Kearney and the cop cars were parked all around and the cops were talking to the driver of the sedan who was still sitting in the driver’s seat where he was when the pickup truck came and walloped into the passenger’s side when the light had obviously been red for the pickup but it was raining and that explained things maybe and the back of the pickup was all loaded up with broken-down and flattened cardboard boxes that were stacked up way above the cab and were tied down with ropes and this giant stack of cardboard boxes was really sagging and leaning and it seemed like they were about to tip over to come crashing down into the rain-wet street where they’d turn into some kind of brown mash or mush like oatmeal and it would be a big mess not that the two vehicles blocking up the intersection weren’t some kind of big mess all wrecked and taking up space and not letting much traffic by so that even the 45-Stockton bus had to almost go on two wheels and up on the curb almost seeming to cringe and wheezing some too as it went by and the cops were all standing around and getting wet in the rain and there was glass all over the street there by the sedan from the broken window were the pickup had slammed into it and the pickup’s front bumper was caved in with the license plate hanging on by a thread and the driver of the pickup was nowhere in sight and the pickup was just sitting there looking sad with the rain falling in its headlights and a few rubberneckers were ogling it all from the street corners and probably watching the rain fall too as it was a hard thing to miss and was really starting to come down as the cops pulled the driver of the sedan from his car and put him on a gurney and the onlookers all held their breath because the guy was on a gurney and that seemed bad but there was no ambulance so it was strange and a rather hefty fellow in a velour jacket who was holding a very capacious umbrella asked what the hell they were going to do with the poor bastard shit it couldn’t be that bad if there ain’t even an ambulance around to take him away so what the hell and where the fuck did they get that gurney from there’s no way it could fit in one of them cop cars but then another gentleman who seemed a bit tipsy and was smoking a cigarette quipped maybe it’s one of them fold-up gurneys that you can like fold into a tiny little package that’d fit right in the trunk and the rotund man laughed and said yeah maybe that’s it and then they both laughed some more and walked away down the street away from the scene of the accident and by then the rain was really starting to come down and people were starting to run and duck for cover under bus shelters and under awnings and the overhanging cornices of large buildings trying not to get soaked and the cops were getting back in their cop cars and the somehow the guy on the gurney got wheeled away and a tow trucked pulled up with the tow truck driver darting around and getting pummeled by the downpour that was turning into quite the deluge by this point and the gutters were really flowing fast and filling up and the rain was splashing all over and crashing on top of the two crashed cars and it was getting harder to see what was going on and most everyone had left except for this tow truck driver who had a yellow raincoat on and who was hunched over and trying to get chains around the sedan’s undersides so he could hoist it up on the back of the tow truck and he didn’t seem to be at all pleased about any of it while the cops sat in their cops cars which were surrounding the accident sight and also almost completely blocking traffic in three directions and a lot of people driving were starting to honk their horns as it became increasingly difficult to see what the hell was going on because of the rain and because it was such slow going getting through the intersection but as the cars kept inching their way around things the drivers would slow down even more to try to catch a glimpse of the two ruined vehicles and all of that cardboard getting sopping wet and falling apart in the back of the pickup in that immense stack that kept leaning farther and farther over the side but not falling because it was still being held in by the ropes but not for long with all the rain coming down like that and the gutters were overflowing and the rain looked beautiful coming down in the headlights of the pickup truck.