died. It’s so sad.
The man you used to be
turned out to be a cad
who’s always mad.
Rick calls the show from time to time. I have never met him. He seems like a decent enough guy.
“To tell the truth, I’m down in the dumps.”
Pause. Silence. “What’s up, Rick?”
“That car. That was my mom’s house.”
That car. The three or four of you know the one we’re talking about. The one in the high-speed chase through Hammond. It ends with a car wedged into the steps of a walkup on 165th Street – and a death.
“My ma, she was in the hospital for 10 days, congestive heart failure. She’s 83 years old. So I call her, ‘hey ma, you been outta the hospital for a whole day. How you feelin’?’
“She says, ‘Ricky, I can’t talk right now.’ She never calls me Ricky. I’m 62 years old and she never calls me that.
“‘What happened, ma?’
“‘Ricky, I got a car that’s facing my door on my stairs. It’s upside down.’
“Where’s the guy? He still in there?”
Rick doesn’t tell us his mom’s answer. He summarizes it himself.
“That guy hit the house so hard – he hit the corner of the house and then the stairs – that he flew out of the window and landed up against the wall on the bike trail. And he died.”
There’s not a rulebook for what to say in a situation like this. The best you can do is listen. Eventually, I ask a question.
“How’s your mom holding up?”
“She’s a nervous wreck. She’s on oxygen. She’s got nothing. She lives hand to mouth, been there forever. She missed my son’s wedding over the weekend. They wouldn’t let her outta the hospital. And this, she been home a day…. “
His voice trails off. He sobs. It’s hard to tell who for.
“You know, when the cop turns the light on, you’re supposed to stop. That guy was going over a hunnerd miles an hour. He hit three houses before hers and the only thing that stopped him was the concrete stairs.
“And for what. This kid’s dead. For what? 25 years old. Never know what’s gonna happen. Every day, count your blessings.”
Gray slimy mist
Creepy horror movie
Clouds bombard our sad souls
That was one phone call. A little later, Vinny calls in. He’s a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
“Hey, Jim, I just came from my mom’s. That accident happened right across the street from her house.”
“So your mom lives across the street from Rick’s mom?”
“Yes… My mom said it was just horrific.”
In a related note, it turns out that Vinny’s mom and Rick’s mom only know each other by waves from the porch. You get the feeling that’s gonna change. Vinny had more news.
“You heard about Sandy, right?”
“No, Vinny, what’s up?”
“She has MS.”
At this point, if you’re not a regular, you’re wondering – how do these people know who Sandy is? Who is she, by the way?
She’s Vinny’s wife. We share stories on the air. We’ve done this for years. Dave from Gary called in next. He explains it better than I can.
“Sorry to hear about Sandy. A lot of us have listened to WJOB forever, and you get to know the people who call in. You say it right, JED – it’s the WJOB family. Also, witnessing an accident like that is very traumatic for these two moms.”
“Sorry for this lady but that is what Insurance is for. She only has to pay her deductible while this guy is dead!”
That’s a comment from Facebook. It got up to 45 degrees today. Tomorrow, when it’s time to stand outside talking to you, it could be 40 degrees colder. Can’t wait.
drugs blow your mind
Search for love, the sublime
and any safe harbor
that you can find.