CHAMPION COLUMN | Wipe the blood from your hands

WIPE THE BLOOD FROM YOUR HANDS:  It's Christmas, a festive time, and a man's got a right to drive the way he wants. Hasn't he? Generic picture: Pixabay
WIPE THE BLOOD FROM YOUR HANDS: It's Christmas, a festive time, and a man's got a right to drive the way he wants. Hasn't he? Generic picture: Pixabay

LAY his head back on the wheel. Wipe the blood from your hands. You can't explain to a dead man. You didn't mean to swerve over the line. Now they're lying there. In the dark, rain beating through broken glass and mangled metal.

The driver is pinned behind the wheel. You want to pull him from the wreckage and explain. You aren't really drunk. Anyway, a man's entitled to a drink with his mates.

It's the festive season. Lay his head back on the wheel. Wipe the blood from your hands. You see the bodies twisted, distorted, bloodied and feel sick. The breathalyser, radar traps and road rules are infringements on our liberty. Don’t mention the right a man has to live. You look at the lifeless teenager and fight tears. Once he roared with laughter at parties, got drunk, ran on the beach and swam in the surf. Vowed he'd never marry — until he met the perfect girl. It's a funeral, not a wedding, he'll be guest of honour at next week. Perhaps he'll understand why you drove when drunk.

Journalist, editor, sub-editor, writer and author Les Pobjie. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Journalist, editor, sub-editor, writer and author Les Pobjie. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Let his head roll back on the seat. Wipe the blood from your hands. The pathetic little girl’s body lies there. You desperately want to pick her up. Tell her about the wonders the world holds for small girls. But first you must explain the ways of adults. Tell her politicians might lose votes if they get too tough on drivers. Besides, people want the right to drive how they like. Maybe she'll under­stand. Pull the rug over her.

Let his head roll back on the seat. Wipe the blood from your hands. You can't apologise to a crushed boy.

Place the doll beside. You want to rush up to the tangled mess of flesh and metal that once was a woman. Hold her hand, say you're sorry. Say you didn't mean to stop dead all her dreams for her children. Wipe the tears aside. Hush your stammering mouth. Apologies can't replace a dead mother's dreams. A crowd has gathered. Ambulance, police. It's too late for the ambulance, you wish the police would stop asking questions. The answers chill your mind. A half-hour ago this was a family with the strengths, talents, failings, frailties of us all. They didn't know they’d leave like this, as a public show, under lights, on a dark, wet road, bringing gasps from curious onlookers. You look numbly at the crushed, ragdoll bodies. Now they're taking them away.

How can you explain to the little broken body? Pull the rug over her. Place the doll beside.

People push past. You want to explain you don't usually drive like this. You didn't mean it! It's a festive time and a man's got a right to drive as he wants. Let the people with the bodies past. Wipe the blood from your hands. You can’t explain to a dead family.

LES POBJIE, journalist, editor, sub-editor, writer, author and mentor

This story Wipe the blood from your hands first appeared on Fairfield City Champion.

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