Thursday, April 24, 2008

Borracho

Like every weekday morning, I left my apartment at 5:40 a.m. At first, everything seemed normal. The sun was rising but it still was dark. The streets were quiet and practically empty. I then saw something that made me stop and stare. A red Mercedes-Benz sat in front of a statue (Antonio José de Sucre) in Parque Lourdes. The car’s front end was completely smashed, and a man was sitting alone behind the wheel, motionless, with blood splattered on his yellow sweater and white pants. His front door was opened. A police van was parked next to the car. It was an obvious accident. But why? And how? Parque Lourdes is a beautiful park that is blocked off for pedestrians only. Each day vendors and locals sell and shop and hang out here. There is a huge church, Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, in the middle of the park.


As I began taking photos a policeman in the van asked me to see my camera. I showed him the photos I had taken. He seemed more interested in my camera than the accident. It was just my small Canon point-and-shoot camera. I asked him if the guy was borracho, or drunk. He nodded, yes. The whole scene was rather bizarre. It was such an odd place for a car accident. It was an expensive car and the driver was middle-aged and looked wealthy. The policeman was sitting in his van and acted as if I was a tourist taking photos of the church. Nobody was around.
I only stayed for a minute and then left for work.


Four hours later, when I returned home, I passed through Parque Lourdes. The red Mercedes was gone. There was a large chunk missing at the base of the statue. Farther down the walkway I saw scrape marks and pieces missing on the curb. It isn’t a small curb. The driver must have been completely borracho. What a way to start your day. I am glad I don’t have a car, I thought to myself on my walk back to my apartment.



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