Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Today's Pucker Factor: 10

Pucker Factor: How tight your ass got on a close call
Today is one of the days where I get to come in late to the office. It normally allows me to drive to Lincoln Park so I can commute from there (this backward practice forces me to go to the gym after work…smart, right?). Today was no different. I arrive on location, park, and start walking towards the train station. Before I get to far into this story, I should better frame the picture by letting you know that the parking lot I use is accessible by two different, perpendicular alleys that connect three busy streets.

I hear screeching tires. Then I hear the sirens. And they are coming closer. And there are a lot of them. But this is the city, so I don’t really think too much of it. I continue to walk down the alley away from the parking lot my car. The sound of the approaching police cars is getting louder. I look straight ahead and see one of my best friends walking towards me at the end of one part of the alley. At that moment, I am standing at the top of the ‘T’ where the two alleys converge and then I look to the right at the sound of nearby screeching tires to see a car violently turn into the alley. Shit. He is flying. Right after the car enters the alley, a large man is running at a dead sprint following the car. Double shit.

I frantically gesture at my friend to get to a side of the alley already figuring out what is going to happen a few seconds from now. I turn back. The car is less then 10 feet from me closing at a very high rate of speed. That’s when my brain finally kicks in and says “enough of this bullshit, jump!” I lunged toward the nearby apartment building a split second before I would have met the front bumper of this car. I look up and see the sprinting guy running in the opposite direction of the speeding car and right past where I had just parked. I quickly turn to see if my friend is alright and thankfully he got out of the way too. The speeding car continues its flight and turns left onto the street.

Not two seconds pass and three cop cars arrive on scene and my friend and I point towards where the car just turned and off they go. I walk towards him, he and I are both in a tad state of disbelief of what we were just a part of. Cop cars keep flying from all directions. We just kind of stand there…taking it all in.

I part ways with my friend. I continue the short walk to the train station. More police cars are showing up in the area. My legs begin to feel a little woozy.

It is starting to sink in how very lucky I was this morning, if I had exited my car three seconds earlier I would have been in the middle of the alley where there is little to no room to get out of the way of an oncoming car moving at any speed.

Thank God I was in a little less of a rush.