I hate commuting.

I made my usual commute today, dropping off my sweetie at 88 St. in Queens so he could catch the A train, and then heading West on the Belt Parkway towards Staten Island, on my way to Rutgers University. The trip used to take me an hour or so. Today it took me closer to two.

There was a traffic jam approaching exit 11 (Flatbush Avenue), and I was mad. I thought to myself, "flaming fucking death. There better be flaming fucking death."

Little did I know...

There was an accident involving at LEAST three cars on the opposite side of the highway, closing two lanes on the eastbound side and slowing traffic for rubbernecking on the westbound side. A cop was with two of the cars that had been cleared away; the cars' owners were standing there, looking around, kind of bewildered, hurt, scared, and violated. There were five fire trucks still at the scene, surrounding a car that hadn't been cleared. They were strapping a body onto a stretcher rather tightly. I don't know if the person died, or was just horribly wounded, but they really didn't want him or her moving around during transport.. Then I noticed that one of the people on the side of the road was holding a baby, and I thought about how the person in the stretcher was someone's parent, or child, or lover, or significant other..

And I told myself, "Never again will I wish for flaming fucking death."

I spent most of the rest of the ride trying not to cry, thinking about if it were me, holding my son, and it was someone I loved on that stretcher...and as I watched the traffic pile up from exit 7 up on the other side of the highway, knowing that no one really cared what happened -- they were all thinking "flaming fucking death" too.

Of course, when I got slowed down again trying to get over the Outerbridge off of Staten Island, the first thing that came into my head was ...

flaming fucking death.

I guess old habits die hard. Or maybe, we're just too insensitive to care about other people's tragedies. We'd rather just look at something horrible because it's something to look at.

Maybe next time I see an accident like that, I'll stop to see if there's anything I can do.

Then again, maybe I'm in too much of a hurry.