Sunday, July 26, 2009

dear sir

Sometimes days drift by, one foot in front of the other, routine and monotonous, without anything giving me pause or leading me to examine myself - why I do what I do, who I am, where I'm going. Admittedly I'm given to frequent self exploration but still, days blur into one and meaning is lost.

Which is why I'm writing to you, to say thank you for fuelling reflection. Not that it was a good moment for you. I recognise that. Sliding off an isolated, winding ride, narrowly missing the rock face before coming to a halt over a drain which trapped you doesn't make for the best day by anyone's standard. But you were alive (I checked that), walking around, assessing the likelihood of a quick recovery. My passing observation was that your chances of this were slim. Think lengthy waits and tow trucks... I've been in a similar crash on an isolated road myself and the car was inextricably compromised. I was therefore very sympathetic to your situation, although you'll never know that because I drove straight past without so much as a wave.

This is the moment that gives me pause. Why? Why did I drive on by? I don't think it's because I am callous and cold hearted. Like I said, I have a great deal of sympathy for you in that situation. It came down more to pragmatics. I was acutely aware of travelling alone on a back road. Being male perhaps you have never had to think about this, but I don't go anywhere on my own without at least subconsciously considering risks and safety and vulnerability. It seemed unwise to stop and get out of the car to assist a man in the middle of nowhere. Believe me, I thought about it. I slowed down. Like I said, I assessed the situation. When I saw that car pulling over from the opposite direction I realised you would receive help. And let's be honest... what could a woman in a small hire car do anyway? I'd hardly be able to lift you off the drain! Towing wasn't an option and my mobile company offered no reception at that location - I couldn't even call for help!

I know it seemed self absorbed of me to drive straight past, as if my schedule was more important than your well being, and I have to confess I was thinking about the time. It's a long drive alone. I don't like driving in the dark, and the closer I get to Newcastle before dusk the happier I become.

Maybe my motives were less than admirable, but in the end I think I made a good call. If you'd been hurt of course I would have stopped (goodness knows what I would have used to help... hire cars don't come with first aid supplies!) but since others could offer better assistance than me, I left them to it.

I hope your wait wasn't too long. That everything worked out OK for you in the end. I imagine it was a shaking experience. I hope you are recovering OK. And me? I'll be more prepared for next time. Better equipped to make the call on helping or driving by.

Again, I wish you well.


At 10:00 am, July 27, 2009, Blogger Eilleen said...

Thank you for sharing your reflections Cecily.

I hope he's having a better day now and didn't have too long a wait.


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