Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Rerun: Humans Race

Two people still in their early 20s -a couple, a girl and a guy who once had their entire lives ahead of them to do with as they pleased - are dead now because over the weekend, they were among the crowd of onlookers at the scene of a drag race on the west side of the county. Mary-Kathryn Michele Abernathy, 21, from Columbia, was pronounced dead at the scene, as was her boyfriend, Jonathan Robert Henderson, 20, of La Plata.
According to the local papers, this all happened on Sunday morning at 3 am. People had pulled their cars off to the side of the road - and not just any old country road; they were on I-70, a main superslab that takes one West. Or not. It would seem that most in the crowd were there to watch, and then a police car came along, and everyone was hot-footin' it out of there, and a car that may or may not have been racing slammed into a parked car, seriously injuring the parked car's driver, who was standing alongside his vehicle. It was that vehicle that ran into Ms Abernathy and Mr Henderson, two more of the crowd gathered to watch other people drive too fast.

You have to wonder about a society that has a segment - no matter how small - of people who are so into their cars and how fast they can make them go that they decide to appropriate several lanes of an interstate highway to serve as their drag strip.
You have to wonder about the fragility of life. On the one hand, no one should be out at 3 o'clock in the morning without some useful purpose, and watching other people race their cars is not counted among such purposes. On the other hand, the injured man and the fatally injured couple were just watching, not participating, from all appearances, so the argument can be made that it was just bad luck and wrong-place, wrong-time. You hear all the time about people doing really risky things and living long and fruitful lives, and someone else makes one small mistake and they're gone. And can you even count it as a mistake, just to be a spectator at someone else's risky action?
This is something to think about, but don't expect to know the answer on this earth. That's why I look forward to getting to heaven, so all these answers will be made clear. Why are some taken so soon? Why is a Hitler, a Pol Pot, a Pinochet, allowed to inflict such enormity?
I want to know these answers, but then again, I'm not in any hurry to get them.

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