I was just in a bus crash on Third Avenue, going uptown, trying simply to get home. I have never, fortunately, been in a car accident. Or bus. Or train. Or should I say subway. It was more than a little un-nerving to say the least. There was the sound of metal on metal and the bus jumped, vibrated, went up and down a bit, but fortunately, no one was hurt.
We, the passengers, didn’t know what happened immediately. We were incredulous. Surely a car or something didn’t crash into a big New York City bus. But, yes, it did. We all had to sit there wondering what the hell happened, if anything. Nobody screamed. But everybody was listening. Carefully.
And eventually after what seemed like hours, but was really minutes, the bus driver said something like “This bus isn’t going anywhere.” And people began to get up in an orderly fashion and get bus transfers from the driver at the front. No explanation was given. Did we hit a person? Did something hit us? Was anyone else injured that we couldn’t see?
I kept thinking of the great Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and the bus accident that famously crippled her for life, when she was a teenager. I thought about her a lot. as both the movie and her paintings were flashing through my mind.
Getting off the Bus I could see that a sizeable van delivering all things, “Clean Underwear” (so it’s sign said) had indeed crashed quite completely into the rear and left side of the bus. But again, thankfully, no one was hurt.
We all then went on to another #1 bus going uptown. And then after a wait, we found out that that bus was not going anywhere either. The accident was blocking the road. The sounds of the many beeping horns on the vehicles stopped behind us stretching down Third Avenue was slightly deafening. But then really no more so than the sound of New York’s usual evening traffic.
And no one was hurt. Thank god. But everyone was slightly rattled. But being New Yorkers not that much.
We were given bus transfers AGAIN. But this time, seeing how completely blocked Third Avenue was going uptown, I switched gears and got on a crosstown 23rd Street bus, and it went on its’ way, no incidents, no mention of what just had happened.Nothing. Whatever the congestion was on Third Avenue didn’t have anything to do with 23rd Street. And I rode off into the night.
Realizing that the whole thing could have been much worse. It could’ve been a real tragedy. Our lives are so fragile, really. One bus ride away from…well, just ask Frida Kahlo.
But the sound of all that metal crunching on other metal…like we were all in a huge compactor…frightening…