I almost killed someone this morning.
The light turned green, and I drove. The little white “walk” sign came on, so the girl on the sidewalk did. But instead of staying in the crosswalk, she started to veer left, in a perfect arc. The path of the arc was going to intersect with the path of my mini-van. It was icy, but for some reason, the brakes caught. If they hadn’t, the girl would have been crushed between my front bumper and a light pole. She looked over her shoulder, her eyes widened, and she kept on jogging, but in a perfectly straight line this time.
(It wasn’t until we got to our destination, 3 blocks later, that my son asked, “Hey, did we hit that girl?” That’s right, son. I hit that girl, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a jogger’s corpse make us late for school. You know how I feel about schedules.)
The whole thing got me thinking about god.
I don’t think I believe in god. But just for a minute, let’s say I did.
Let’s say there’s a god, and there’s a heaven. One day, I’m going to die. And when I do, let’s say St. Peter’s up there, checking ID’s at the Pearly Gates. (I have a way with bouncers; I got one to marry me, so I’m pretty sure I can get past him.) And I get up to god’s condo (He doesn’t have kids, he’s too busy for the maintenance on a house. A condo just makes good sense.), knock on the door, and he says “Come on in. But don’t let the dog out.” (Of course god is a dog guy. Cats are satan’s minions.)
We get situated in his tastefully appointed living room, he offers me some tea. Then, I get to ask him any question I want.
I’ve thought about this. What universal truth do I want revealed to me? What about this crazy earth do I need to understand? What’s the deal with Stonehenge? Why’d you sink Atlantis? Nipples on men – wacky joke, or brilliant design we humans never figured out?
Here’s the question I’m going with: Other than the obvious (I’m here, aren’t I?), what was the closest I came to dying?
Did I trust a hitchhiker, who was plotting to kill me but was foiled by an ill-timed red light? Did I eat a bologna sandwich, but stop one bite short of a big gob of anthrax? Did I avoid a bank hold-up, opting for the ATM instead?
I would really, really love to know.
But no matter how I actually do leave this world, it won’t be by jogging into the front of someone’s mini-van.
Jogging is for suckers.