A sickening crunch came from behind me. I turned around and saw a BMW had just sideswiped another sedan. One of the car’s alarms went off.
I stared a while at the wreckage, as if staring long enough would recreate the accident and I could understand what happened. I could feel my heart beating faster and the stress-induced hormone cortisone racing through my veins. This accident had nothing to do with me, and I didn’t know the people involved. Yet I felt a deep nausea that somehow wasn’t in my stomach. An uneasiness washed over me.
After a moment or two, I was able to put my finger on what it was that bothered me — it was the feeling of something being wrong, of how quickly our everyday world can change. These people were just on their daily commute, no doubt making the same maneuvers they did each day. And in an instant, their days changed.
I was especially unnerved by the sound of the impact. It was unnatural, foreign among the normal sounds of the early morning, an eerie reminder of how quickly things can change.