Last night, on my way back from the Sex Workers Art Show, I saw a crash. You see, I took the bus to the show, two actually, and decided to walk the final 19 blocks rather than wait for the second one. Just a few blocks from home, I noticed a cop on a side street, his car engine running, waiting to nab speeders. I didn't really pay any attention to him, just noticed him in my peripheral vision as I passed. Anyway, the next block was Park Presidio -- the street that goes = through Golden Gate Park. A fairly major throughway.
The light wasn't with me and I stopped as a guy on a motorcycle pulled up beside me, and then made a right turn in front of me. I turned my head and watched as he sped up Park Presidio. He was less than 50 feet away when something happened. I have no idea what, but his bike seemed to skid sideways, and then there were sparks and before I could take it all in, bike and rider were sliding across the road. When they came to a stop, there was a deathly still. The rider didn't move at all. A guy at a bus stop across the street muttered "Oh shit", and began walking toward the crash. Remembering the cop, I shouted, "There's a cop around the corner -- I'll get him!"
I did. The cop thanked me and pulled away from the curb, almost running me down, and headed in the direction of the crash. By the time I got back to Park Presidio, about 20 seconds later (it's was close enough for the cop to have heard the crash, but he didn't seem to have, I think he had his windows closed and the heater on), a small crowd had gathered.
The rider still hadn't moved.
I thought about going to see if he was okay, but I could hear the distant wail of another police car, and a little later, the wail of an ambulance. So, thankfully, I realized that I'd just be in the way.
You see, I didn't want to see what had happened to this guy, who moments ago, was literally at my side, wearing a red and black helmet, riding a dark bike through the dark night.
When I think back on the event, I realize something had tugged at me. Something had made me follow him with my eyes as he turned in front of me and headed up Park Presidio. It was about 12:20 in the morning. It was cold. There was no other traffic at that moment. And I was still about seven blocks from home. I'm pretty vehicle agnostic and wouldn't know a Harley from an Indaian, so it wasn't that. But there I stood. Watching. The fiery crash.