Friday, February 27, 2015

sister mac attack

What do a nun, two airbags, and a bleach blonde driving a crap heap of a car have in common?

Last Tuesday.

That morning, I was on the way to meet a girlfriend for breakfast.  My one day off from school to get everything done, see friends I have abandoned, pretend I don't have seven loads of laundry awaiting me while I search for treasure at Arc.  All I could think about was Eggs Benedict, a strong cup of coffee, and a few laughs with Katie.

"The light turned green.  I'm positive."  The officer held a clipboard with his black leather gloved hand. He was prepared, while I stood on a curb in Steve Madden leopard print patent leather flats, exchanging my weight from one foot to the next as 24 degrees Fahrenheit turned my feet red, and while I wasn't eating Eggs Benedict.

The light turned green.  The little old lady in the white Corolla in front of me got an annoyingly slow start.  "Let's go, lady!"  I'd said it out loud, my Chicago showing.  She was midway through the intersection when the bleach blonde in the red crap heap barreled through the intersection and sent Little Old Lady sideways up the ramp to the interstate.  The interstate she just wanted to pass, but the one Bleach Blonde in the Red Crap Heap was in a hurry to get on.

I parked my car under the underpass and ran to the little white Corolla.  A couple in a black Lexus had pulled over and were tending to the bleach blonde who was standing at the side of her previously dented to hell vehicle, her arms across her chest looking pissed.  Her lack of concern for the little Corolla she had just crumpled baffled me as I stepped over its bumper and shards of broken glass and plastic.  I gathered this was just her usual expression, years of the victim mentality perfected had probably served her well.

The two air bags had deployed, and I could hear Little Old Lady screaming.  "God, I hope she doesn't look horrific," I thought to myself as I walked toward the car.  I remember noticing there was no blood on the windows and thinking maybe it wouldn't be that bad.  As I got to the mangled front end of the car, the tiniest Asian nun in the world pushed the driver's door open, stood and held both my hands in hers.  She looked up in my eyes, placed my hands on the cheeks of her warm, tear-streaked face and said, "I will pray for you the rest of my life."

Her name tag from the hospital read "Sister Mac".  She had been on her way to volunteer in the Radiology department.  "Will you call them for me?  They will be so worried."  A man named John in a Jeep had stopped by that point and walked us to his vehicle to warm up.  Three police officers, a fire truck chock full of paramedics, and a community service officer joined the party.  Sister Mac never let go of my hands.  I stood next to Jeep John, who was tasked with the job of filling out Sister's paper work; my job was to hold her hands.

How is it that some people, when faced with adversity, with life or death I-can-smell-smoke-from-my-airbags-deploying adversity, can think of others first?  While others stand on the sidelines pissed because they're late for work or pissed because their crap heap of a car is now undriveable or pissed because they know they did something wrong but could never admit it.  Looking pissed is the only defense they have.

Walking up to windows you can't see through is a lot harder.  Pushing mangled doors open isn't easy. Having the courage to right a wrong is hardest.  Bleach Blonde in the Red Crap Heap had her chance and it passed her by.  She sat in the protection of the Black Lexus, surrounded by first responders, the final report reading "a scrape on the left ankle, a bruise from seat belt across chest".  I wanted to take some blank bright yellow police line and a Sharpie and write "CAUTION:  JACKASS" across it and wrap it around her.

Sister Mac called me to have lunch this Wednesday.  She will wait for me outside of the "Sisters' Office" at 11:30 and watch for me.

"I will pray for you the rest of my life."

I need it Sister Mac.  We all do.

(first picture courtesy of  second pictures courtesy of