I’d been selected to be a messenger. Don’t know who chose me, nor the message.
I was waiting to get the message in my place, a small apartment in a large high-rise building. Few windows let in light but natural sources outside were diminished by storms. Friends and acquaintances visited. Several noticed that I had four model cars in a case. These were Formula 1 cars from the 1970s and 1980s, 1/12 scale. People bent down to look into the black case to see them. As they began commenting, I turned on the case lights so they could see them. Up front on the right was the Ferrar 312 T which Lauda drove to championships. Behind it a little was a Mclaren MP4/4, a model driven by Senna and Prost, with the markings and settings for Prost’s vehicle. I explained these things to everyone, but then, the time for me to act as messenger arrived.
The message was given on a slip of paper. I went out and delivered it, no problem, despite a deluge. Coming back, I descended a long, steep hill on an asphalt path. Left of me was busy thoroughfare, twelve lanes of newly paved road, packed with cars. At the bottom of the hill was an intersection where a wide new road came down from the right. I needed to cross that wide road. My building was on the other side. I could see its parking lot.
Rain still poured as thunder rumbled. I stepped onto the road into the crosswalk, then looked back and left to ensure the cars turning right from the main road were letting me pass. They were stopped and waiting, so I waved thanks and proceeded. Mind shifting to the traffic coming on the road which I crossed, I saw a huge tanker truck approaching, going way too fast for conditions. I stopped to await the outcome.
The long truck, a blue tractor with a silver trailer, was rushing toward the intersection, sliding with his brakes locked. As he passed me, the truck entered a slow jack knife and then fell over onto its side and slid more, stopping just after entering the intersection. Everyone saw it coming and stopped. No one hit it and it sat on its own, alone in the intersection.
A young Black man on a blue bike had been riding down the hill toward the intersection. When the truck arrived and jack knifed, the bike guy braked hard, slid, lost control and was thrown from the bike.
I rushed to help, recognizing that he was also a messenger. He was conscious but dazed, sitting on the roadway, his twisted bike to one side, rain drenching him. Others came to help him, too. I told them to call for an ambulance. Someone suggested helping the truck driver, but I disdained that; he’d brought that on himself, I thought, and others were undoubtably going to help him. A glance that way confirmed that people were at the truck.
I asked the bike rider, “Are you a messenger?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Are you hurt?”
He shook his head. People went to help him up. “No,” I said. “He had a big tumble. There may be injuries which we don’t know. Wait for the EMT.”
Then I asked him, “Where does your message go? I’ll take it for you.”