WHEN INSPIRATION STRIKES: Horrible turn of events is reminder of the stories behind tragedies

(Photo used by permission of Creative Commons)
A car sits overturned as pedestrians walk by in 2009.

Sophomore Gabi Alvarado, who enjoys writing, will blog biweekly on the origins of her creativity and artistic vision.

Riding shotgun with my dad driving one night, I saw a wreck on the side of the highway. There were a few police cars there, but it was late. There was a lot of traffic through there – people just wanted to get home.

When we hear that something bad has happened to someone, we try to find a reason, be it drinking, smoking, or a lifestyle. It could be anything, as long as we aren’t included in the group. As long as we aren’t like the people to whom a horrible thing has occurred, we think we are safe from trouble.

That accident reminded me of how often we don’t think of the people behind an action, the human behind the drunk driver. There is so much about people and their lives that we cannot even begin to imagine simply by seeing them once.

So we focus on what we know. And although we know, deep down, that we are being superstitious, we blame people for what happens to them. We blame a smoker for her lung cancer and assume our own safety because we’ve never smoked in our lives, when, really, any one of us could get the disease.

That night on the highway I had been texting a friend, and I told him what I saw. He asked me to describe it and said that it was “cool” to see the wreck. I agree. I think it’s very interesting to see where the car ended up and how damaged it is.

But part of me is terrified of what became of the driver and the passengers. Part of me wonders where they are now, whether or not they are alive. And I wonder how much other people are affected by this tragedy.



There’s an accident on the freeway.

I can’t see much past the flashing blue and red lights,

But they illuminate a wrecked car.

Parts are strewn on the side of the road.

It’s raining, and it’s dark,

And there isn’t anybody in the car.

I take a deep breath and keep driving.

I reel at the burning smell of gasoline.

I roll up the windows.

By Gabi Alvarado

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