Random Events, Deadly Precision

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There used to be three of us.

Now there’s only one. Me.

“Natural Causes” (aka A life of drinking and debauchery) claimed my first friend’s life in his sleep.

The other friend was tragically unlucky.

He was just one of the many fatalities resulting from a collision between a passenger bus and motorcycle.

Three Days Ago…

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The drunk motorcycle driver that killed my best friend appeared totally oblivious of any other traffic, zig-zagging erratically up the treacherous mountain road.

With no apparent concern for other vehicles, the driver zoomed upwards in the “middle lane” of this narrow, two-lane road.

And without so much as a millimeter of cautious back throttle, the drunk motorcyclist was seen careening around the winding road’s sharp, blind curves.

Nearly all witnesses observing this tragic event — that claimed several lives, including a grandmother and her grandson, agree that the intoxicated motorcycle driver’s reckless behavior was solely responsible for the accident; describing the driver as a dangerous, crazy, and obnoxious drunk.

In fact, in between the blasts of his motorcycle’s bull horn and the protesting whine of his motorcycle engine, onlookers claim they could hear him shouting all sorts of obscenities toward other drivers, back-riding passengers, and pedestrians along the road’s narrow shoulder.

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After listening to similar witness accounts of the drunken driver’s public rudeness and criminal negligence, I can almost rationalize and justify to myself that the driver got what he deserved.

He died.

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Repeatedly watching the recorded accident scene from the local news, I was awe-struck with the entirely arbitrary “Perfect Chain of Events”.

And when I saw how the overloaded passenger bus came barreling down the mountain road, I had to accept that my friend and I would never enjoy another fun bus trip together.

Normal Etiquette -

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Unlike Western cultures, the accepted norm of public behavior in my little Asian city does not, in any circumstance, mandate that anyone give up their seat on a bus to others.

Short of being at gunpoint or taking a hefty bribe, I can’t imagine any other reason strong enough to coax a local resident from his seat on the bus.

To this day, I still get peeved when riding a bus and I see an able-bodied person comfortably seated while a woman is standing in the center aisle and struggling to keep hold of a squirming baby.

Like me — or anyone raised with Western values during childhood, my friend would automatically assist anyone who needed help and relinquish his bus seat to those he thought needed it more than himself (e.g., the elderly, the physically challenged, pregnant women, anyone holding a baby, and young children).

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We both had a knack for instantly making people feel comfortable, routinely attracting lots of new friends on every one of our crazy fun bus trips together.

After my friend’s death, I would often get sad whenever I saw a commercial passenger bus on the road.

Anyway, back to our story.

Apparently, while racing up the mountain and carelessly zipping around yet another blind curve, the drunk motorcycle driver must’ve seen a blurry outline of a large vehicle coming his way.

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Within seconds, the image surely was clear: it was a yellow commercial passenger bus.

Like the rest of the public buses here, it was violating the maximum safe capacity — standing room only. This is probably why the bus could not maintain a steady course, frequently straying in and out of the opposing traffic lane, and speeding downhill at an alarming rate.

In spite of his alcohol impaired condition, the driver made an emergency evasive maneuver; making a beeline to the cement pylons on the seaward side of the road.

These cement sentinels were the only things standing between the road and a painful plummet to sure death. The driver attempted to negotiate the staggered pattern of the pylons and secure a safe spot halfway in between them as quickly as possible.

Then something totally unexpected happened.

Seemingly out of nowhere, and much too close to the motorcycle to effectively make a full stop, an elderly woman and a small boy appeared, standing there shocked and motionless; and also right in the middle of the driver’s planned safety route!

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Many eyewitnesses were not sure if it was the pedestrians, the driver’s drunkenness, or some kind of mechanical failure that caused the driver to lose control.

The pylons solidly performed half of their sentry duties; that is, they saved the motorcycle.

The driver ended his day’s exhilarating ride by ending his life.

With no control of his motorcycle, he drove right into a cement pylon, flew over the handlebars and over the edge of the road’s line of safety.

If the impact of hitting the first ledge after falling 55 ft. did not kill the driver instantly, he surely endured an extremely painful journey downward.

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The sky camera from the local news helicopter recorded how the driver’s body went down the side of the mountain like a pinball, bouncing off the uneven, rock-strewn terrain.

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As a grand finale, the driver, who moments earlier was probably the most hated man in the city, made a dramatic and lasting impression on each person in the crowd of spectators when the remnants of his falling body made another kind of impression on the exposed boulders of the outgoing tide.

The local group-think favors this ending to the drunken driver’s story, citing that it was the inevitable re-balancing of karma; that is, the demise of what the next day’s news called “a crazy, non-local, drunken driver killer of women and children” somehow made things a little more right in this world of checks and balances.

I’ve never quite embraced that eye for an eye philosophy. Who keeps score?

Who decides which lives are more valuable than others?

There is a very famous phrase regarding this:

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Leonard Nimoy as Spock in “Star Trek” made the phrase globally well known in the movie “The Wrath of Khan.” What is this phrase? It is the famous “Spock Logic” that states, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one”; making a reference to Charles Dickens’ “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

At first blush, “The Needs …” phrase sounds logical, fair and honorable, right?

But now ask yourself this:

If you had the ability to take time-travel vacations and happened to bump into a little boy named Adolph Hitler, would you kill him?

I seriously question how anything positive can be reaped from sowing negativity first.

In regards to my friend’s death, my philosophy is simple. I accept that in this world that I am currently experiencing, nothing can bring back my friend, that grandmother, that grandson, or anyone else back to life.

Period.

Wishing it were so, or distracting ourselves away from facing that fact with pointless accusations, vendettas, and crusades of exclusivity is the surest way to waste our precious, unknown amount of miracle moments called life.

“Non-local” is the colloquial term for “foreigner” and the focus on the deaths of the woman and boy in the news fueled more local resentment toward foreigners.

That didn’t bother me much. I felt the public reaction was reasonable, given the circumstances.

Besides, I’ve learned that things always seem to eventually go back to normal and this story of a soused motorcycle driving lunatic would soon fade into obscurity.

But what does bother me is that some important details about the whole story were conveniently omitted (or more than likely, severely “edited”) by the press.

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For example, it’s not widely known that the woman and the boy initially escaped injury from the oncoming motorcycle by reflexively jumping out of the way; only to be run over by the commercial passenger bus.

It’s also quite possible that the surprise appearance of the pedestrians from behind a cement pylon caused the driver’s loss of control.

In other words, nobody will ever know if any loss of life would have occurred had the woman and boy stayed hidden, or emerged a few seconds earlier or later.

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Again, the “Perfect Chain of Events” is mind-boggling.

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Because of everything I’ve said in this story, I just can’t join the communal hatred of the drunken motorcyclist and expect to keep a clear conscience.

And even though that driver killed my best friend, I can’t hate him.

Why?

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Because the killer of my best friend WAS my best friend.

By JaiChai

Many thanks for reading my story.

About the Author -

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He is a retired U.S. Military veteran. Believing that school was too boring, he dropped out of High School early; only to earn an AA, BS and MBA in less than 4 years much later in life — while working full-time as a Navy/Marine Corps Medic.

In spite of a fear of heights and deep water, he free-fall parachuted out of airplanes and performed diving ops in very deep, open ocean water.

He spends his days on an island paradise with his teenage daughter, longtime girlfriend and two dogs.

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“our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’ t hurt them.” — The Dailai Lama XIV

Originally published at https://steemit.com on November 28, 2017.

I'm retired (U.S. military) and living on an island paradise with my girlfriend, teenage daughter and two dogs.

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JaiChai

JaiChai

I'm retired (U.S. military) and living on an island paradise with my girlfriend, teenage daughter and two dogs.

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