Sound Of Sirens

The video is short, but the sound of the fire truck siren today took me back to a place I've been thinking in for awhile.

That morning in January 10 years ago, I was sitting behind the wheel of my 1985 Camry at the corner of 51 Ave. and 109 St. The car was stopped. And facing south, which was strange, because work was a few blocks more to the east. On the passenger seat floor was a plate broken in two. Like two half moons, I thought. And on the passenger seat window the grilled cheese sandwich that had been on that plate was stuck. And it was so quiet. My thoughts had to be slowly lifted into place until I realized I had  just been in a crash. With that big pickup and those spotlights on its front.

And I was scared.

This is not the item, but Sam Baker has a stunning description of being in a vehicle crash. In Iron, it is a single-vehicle accident, and, as they say, road conditions and alcohol were possible factors.

The tires hit the edge, he spins like a top.
The truck slides low in the ditch 'til it stops.
It hurts, where he banged his head.

He can't read the gauges
The wipers whip like wind over pages
It's loud
It's static on the radio.
It gets too light to see
He just stares
It gets too light to see
And then he gets scared.
Then the light was gone
Just wipers, wind turned snow.

A couple of weeks ago on my ride to work I cycled up to a crash scene so fresh that the fire trucks weren't there yet. Nobody looked to be hurt seriously, but what a disturbing sight. Vehicles stopped where vehicles should be moving. Vehicles pointed in awkward directions. Two women in pajamas, who were occupants of one of the vehicles, were standing in the snow and ice of the intersection, hugging, crying. It was wrong.

And then the sirens happened. And I remembered my accident. And how a siren, just a siren is a different sound entirely than a siren you know is coming for you.

 Crash site view from my bike


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