Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I hadn't planned to continue on the current thread of Doom and Gloom Week, but circumstances intervened.

This morning was pretty ordinary. My commuter train was on time, though the two before it had run late. While onboard, I had enough time to transfer photos from my camera card to my computer. Another project done.

With an extra 10 minutes to spare, I stopped off at Walgreen's to pick up some lip gloss, pink Soft Soap (my favorite and pretty scarce lately), plus some Benadryl for my dog whose Spring allergies have returned despite the cold weather.

Everything was on schedule. Everything was fine. I turned the corner and walked down the block and turned onto Monroe Street. In an instant, everything changed.

After years of working in Downtown Chicago, I'm familiar with the terrain. On weekdays, the sidewalks are packed with moving people, as are the crosswalks. People do not stand in bunches in the middle of the street.

I didn't want to look but couldn't help myself. A man lay crumpled. A woman bent over him. Another man sat dazed, holding a handkerchief to his head.

I heard the siren of a fire engine in the distance, trying to make its way through the rush hour jam. It finally pulled up with the aid of a pedestrian directing traffic.

With a sick feeling, I turned away from the disquieting scene. I had to get to work.

I don't know if the victims survived. I don't know who was at fault, although I heard a rumor a car had run a red light. All I could think of was these people started out as I had, living a normal day doing normal things. They had no idea of the tragedy awaiting them.

What were their goals and dreams? Would they live to realize them?

It's easy to get sidetracked. Before I know it, another day is over, another week, another month, another year, and I still haven't done everything I wanted to do.

I'm a writer. My work-in-progress is halfway through. I want it done, so I'll work on it everyday and get it finished. It will be my Breakout Book.

That is my dream and I'll do everything in my power to achieve it.

Morgan Mandel

Author of Two Wrongs by Morgan Mandel at www.hardshell.com, www.amazon.com
by order at bookstores.


Terri Stone said...

That's not far from where I work! I've always said that you have to watch out for the buses and the cabs but that's not enough. One day when I was crossing a one-way street near the Sears Tower I was hit by an idiot on a bike (not a bike messenger) who was going the wrong direction on this one-way street. So now I look both ways regardless. Seems what our mothers told us is true - look both ways before you cross the street! Works in London too.

Margot Justes said...

Hey Morgan,
I am getting the hang of this...I agree with Terri, always look both ways