Monday, January 22, 2007

Moonlight Tower Murder

This is where it all began. Gosh, I cant believe it has been three years since the accident. Beneath this moonlight tower, this beacon of light in the darkness of the night. Its ironic that something so tragic could happen beneath something designed for the sole purpose of safety. The memory of the accident was long forgotten, with so many other equally as tragic incidents to distract the city there was almost no recollection of this particular incident at all.

Now, just as it had been before this terribly unfortunate event, things were running their normal course and at a speed that only regularity can bring. This intersection of 22nd and Nueces is just any other intersection to those unaware of what happened, but those closest to her will never forget it.

Three years. Even so the events of that night run through my head so often I don’t think I could forget any detail if I tried. It was a typical Saturday night of not knowing what we were going to do and only at the last minute finding a party through a friend’s friend. We promised each other that if the party just wasn’t for us that we would just go home and relax, perhaps watch a movie. After being at the party for like 15 minutes or so I really didn’t feel very comfortable so, reluctantly, she agreed to leave. This is the part of the story that really gets me because both of us had walked this route hundreds of times both during the day and at night with little or no incident. Come to think of it neither of us had ever witnessed any major problem at all at this particular intersection. This intersection was a typical west campus intersection, a one way street intersecting a two way street and with stops signs in all directions. Some people said at the time it was the fault of the construction company near by, seeing as there were signs all over the street warning of the dangers of the construction site. It was one of these signs that was said to have slightly hindered the driver’s sight from seeing the stop sign. All I could think was that these signs had been there for months so surely he would have already driven through and known there was a stop sign there. Later we would find out that the driver was severely intoxicated from a night of partying as he had just turned 21 and was using his newly acquired ability to go down to 6th street and buy himself as many drinks as he wanted. This in the end was the final reason for his conviction of manslaughter.

It was these events, when we actually got to the intersection, that I would run through my head the most. Why did we step out into the street so assuredly the car would stop? Why didn’t we even take the time to look at the oncoming car? These are the questions that need no answer. In any other circumstance there would be no problem, there would be no question that the car would stop. In any other circumstance the driver could have not been drinking or he could have seen the stop sign and stopped or the construction sign would have been farther back as to not get in the way of the stop sign but on this particular day none of these were the case.

Every once and a while I will go to that intersection and just sit to observe the way the intersection runs so smoothly. I see a constant interaction between the people walking, the people just meeting up with friends, people on bicycles, the cars and any other object or being that is joining in the everyday interaction of an intersection.

These are the simple facts that one sees at an intersection that is guided by stop signs. Cars yield to other cars that were there first. Pedestrians have the right of way. In the end it was these simple rules of the stop sign that ultimately lead to her death.


Marissa said...

Sad story. Not even gonna lie, I almost got teary-eyed when you read it in class. Anyways, I like how you focused your attention on the stop sign. It's crazy to think that a sign, a simple piece of metal attached to the top of a pole, governs the actions of people. Even crazier is the thought that when it fails to serve it's purpose, that stop sign can lead to harm or death. Ok, maybe it's not so much crazy as scary.

Heather said...

This was creepy. I was kind of saddened by the fact that almost everyone had a negative story about that little stretch of road en route to my apartment. I'm definitely going to make sure that I look both ways when crossing the street from now on.

Matthew Aguilar said...

I think the story sounded realistic. It reminded me of the introduction to a movie or video game, which I thought was really cool. I am not denying the importance of the stop sign and how crucial it is to the survival of urbanism, but I'm not sure were your project is gonna take off form here or how or if there is a way to solve the problems that occured in the story. Bigger signs maybe? flashing lights? maybe something futuristic like a floating warning that hovers in the center of the intersection.

JayeetaG said...

I also focused on the stop sign in my narrative. Although yours was much more sad, I think its interesting that in both your narrative and mine the incident that occurred happened only when the rules of the stop sign were broken. I think we take these implicit laws for granted only until something happens.