Friday, July 13, 2007

Reality Check

I've unintentionally pondered a great deal on my blog; non-specifically wondering what the hell everything is all about - the Whys, the Hows, plenty of If Onlys. I've bitched and complained, or I've been fairly happy, but I'll generally be pining 'Where's My Slice'?

Then along comes something to knock the wind out of my sails and give me a bit of perspective.

On Thursday night, while I was enjoying my second night's drinking and getting nowhere sexually in Spain, back in London, a retired couple and their friends were leaving a restaurant about to head home. As they were crossing the road, some kid in a van, the selfish type I've had occasion to whinge about in previous posts, was having a chat on his mobile phone whilst driving, and driving fast. The road was empty as three of these four pedestrians began to cross. Then the van appeared, as the cliché goes, from nowhere, colliding into them at speed.

The man, a cheerful kind-hearted giant, was my cousin. He was airlifted to hospital only to die from his injuries some 24 hours later. His wife is still in hospital with broken bones all over her body. It will apparently take her months to walk again, and she will come through this widowed.

The driver, this kid, allegedly said to the police when they got to the scene, 'I've got a wedding to go to tomorrow. Will I be around to make it?'
Such a shame when your plans go awry. Perhaps you shouldn't drive like you don't give a fuck whilst having a chat on your phone.

Anyway, because my Dad has also been on holiday, nobody told him, and by extension me, until yesterday. So we've both missed the funeral.

So, apologies for this brutal reality check. Personally speaking, I'm fine, just angry. My cousin has died ahead of time and there are two further women in hospital, because some 24-year-old bastard just had to drive down a road at speed because he could. And I suppose he didn't care about being on the phone because 'Fuck it, so what?'
I guess because he'd never killed anyone before, he simply assumed that death caused by dangerous driving was something other people did.

I'd thought long and hard about whether I should blog about this. After all, this is my refuge where I can purge myself of stupidity, a place where I might - hopefully - make other people laugh.
But in the end I thought perhaps I could remind people to drive at a sensible speed in future, and certainly to please not use their phone whilst driving.

And of course, there's the other angle; Go out and live a little. Who knows what's around the corner?


Huw said...



Shoshana said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What an idiot kid. I hope he goes to jail.

thegirl said...

Gosh Fwenge, I'm so sorry to hear this. Nothing can be said to make the situation any better.

But I wish you "a long life" and want to tell you that you are in my thoughts anyway.

Hope that bastard driver gets put away for a very long time.


Anonymous said...

Ouch. Take care.

Z said...

I'm so sorry.

la fille mariée said...

It's awful, Ducky. I'm really sorry. Yes, we do need to live like there's some asshole speeding around the corner at us. This moment is all we have. Hugs.

Angela-la-la said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, babe. My heart goes out to your cousin's wife and, if it were up to me, my boot would go out to the selfish fuck behind the wheel.

Also, your blog is just that - your blog. Write what you want, when you want.

Ordinary Girl said...

Ditto Angela re writing what you want. Other than that anything I might want to say feels positively cliched. My sympathies anyway.

sue said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss.

And yes, live for the moment. As the saying goes, 'there were people on the Titanic who waved away the dessert trolley'.

Am thinking of you.

Sabine said...

also ditto, and do love the above titanic quotation.
having worked a lot with accident victims, I have such a horror of cretinous driving behaviour- there is no excuse, and then there is no return. Often seems to take people a ghastly expereince to assosciate blood with ducco, pain with driving. Others even more painfully still are not able to take any personal responsibilites for their actions.

Condolence Fwenge,
x sabine

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Wow, horrible news, so sorry to hear that. It makes me soooo angry when I see people talking on the phone while driving.

Irina Tsukerman said...

My sincere condolensces.

Peach said...

jesus, so sorry to hear that...

Makes me incredibly angry too

TA said...

I'm really sorry to hear your loss.

elif said...

four years of studying human behavior and i still can't believe how insensitive and selfish people can get. i'm sorry for your loss. my condolensces...

fwengebola said...

Thank you all very much for your kind words of support. It is extremely touching. I was going to reply individually like I normally do, but I can't help feeling as if I'm hogging all the sympathy.
I say this because I attended the wake on Sunday, or more accurately the Shiva, and saw for the first time the side of my family directly affected.
I'm not going to blog about that night bacause despite my social faux pas (forcing myself to speak to everyone and enduring one particular conversation where I broke out in a cold sweat and began rambling), it was also quite personal and moving. And very nice to for a few of us to smile and laugh and make it a happier occasion than circumstances dictate.

Plus I got to meet my second cousins properly, the sons directly involved, who are absolutely brilliant. We've vowed to stay in touch.

Despite the fact that I wasn't going to miss the shiva in a million years, it's an event that tends to fill me with foreboding. Mainly because I've got foot-in-mouth disease. As I arrived, my cousin who survived the crash was being pushed into the house in a wheelchair, wrapped in a variety of bandages - I'm afraid the sight of her like that hit me quite hard.

Overall, and having attended a few shivas in the past, this was particularly poignant, not least because this was my first bereavement where it felt as if my relative got taken away too early.

So that's that. Life goes on, and to paraphrase Sue's comment - I hadn't heard it before and it's excellent - Don't wave away the dessert trolley. You may hit a fucking iceberg.

Thank you all once again.

Will said...

Awful. Condolences.

Venting said...

So sorry for your loss... Will your family press charges?

Mister Underhill said...

That's horrible. Sorry to hear it. It always does seem to be the good people who are taken in such meaningless ways, as well.

luna said...

My condolences to you and your family.
There has been an ill wind blowing lately,harder on some than others.

The truth is,we don't know why we're alive any better than why we die.

I'm sure noone noticed your imaginary blunders,only that you cared to come and share the burden of grief with the family.

fwengebola said...

Thanks, Will. Venting, I don't know. Maybe, but it won't bring him back, or stop someone else doing something like this to another family.
Mr U, hello. I was going to write something similar.
Thanks Luna. No, they noticed.