There was an accident today. Emergency services, police, fire, and paramedics, were all called to the scene. Someone may have died. Oh, and I’ve lost my watch.
It’s causing me no small amount of distress, the losing of my watch.
The accident occurred around 2:45 today, on the corner of Larkin and O’Farrell. There’s a sort of open-air market that pops up every day on Larkin. Downtrodden and destitute vendors display all manner and variety of items for purchase. Laid out on filthy blankets, these items are displayed without any fanfare, slogans, advertisement, or even solicitation from the vendors. I admire the resigned futility of their business practices. I also thought that perhaps my watch may have found its way onto one of these blankets.
As I was scrutinizing the items available for purchase, I heard a loud thud. Two vehicles had collided violently in the intersection. The make and models of the vehicles in question I cannot be sure of, because I have no interest in these nominal details. I can say that it appeared as if one of the vehicles, a small four-door sedan type car, was attempting to make a left turn through the intersection, while the other vehicle, a rather large van (a commercial moving truck?) did an admirable job of preventing this maneuver. Which vehicle was at fault, I cannot say. In the end, we are all at fault. Both vehicles were spectacularly mangled.
What I can be sure of, is that this loud thud rather rudely interrupted my search for my missing watch. I can also be sure that the locating of my missing watch is of no great concern to anyone reading this, nor should it be. But it has great significance to me, this particular sartorial affectation. The watch reminds me of the importance of not attaching importance to anything. A rather paradoxical statement, I’m well aware. I would wear the watch every day, and pay close attention to the constant ticking of the second hand. This takes intense concentration, to hear the almost silent passage of time. Born into an indifferent universe, hurdling inevitably towards a sublime nothingness from which we came, it is of vital importance to remember that everything, every passing second, is just as arbitrary, meaningless, and unavoidable as our unjustified existence, and our justified demise. Each tick a life long-ago lived, long-ago lost, instantly forgotten.
A large crowd of people were no gathered around the scene. The performance by the crowd, the display of shock and concern, was pathetically impressive. The front of the four-door sedan, which would normally jut out like a horse’s nose, now looked more like the snout of a pug. There was no way the driver survived. Or maybe there was. Who’s to say? Who should care?
The police and fire department arrived on the scene, followed shortly thereafter by the paramedics. For me, this sideshow was coming to an end. Most of the crowd dispersed as the authorities took control of the scene. There was nothing more to see here. There really never was.
So, there you have it. There was an accident today. And I did not find my watch. There will be an accident tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. As sure as a second hand.