Today was a beautiful warm spring day.  Something about the air and light, and the warmth, reminded me of a morning almost thirty years ago.

It was a summer morning in Chicago.  We were driving east on the Eisenhower Expressway.  At about Independence or Homan when I glanced up at the rearview mirror I saw a car, an older model, a hoopdee, moving fast, passing everyone.  I watched as it moved up on us.  Over a hundred miles per hour.  Weaving.  Fast.  It seemed like we were standing still.

And then he was going to hit us.  There was nowhere for us to move into the lanes either side.  I just watched in the mirror.  I warned Gail.

The car must have just grazed our rear bumper as it passed on the right.  It seemed to float past us.  And then it was ahead of us.  And then we saw it shudder an instant as the driver for some reason made a sharp turn.  The car turned sideways and rolled.  I slid past the car that seconds ago had rocketed past us.

I glanced up at the rearview mirror and watched the hoopdee roll again, this time the driver come out of his window.  The car rolled over him.

By this time traffic was stopping.  We continued on.  I exited at Damen, near Rush-Presbyterian.  Turned north on Paulina, east on Ogden.  We pulled into our corps’ parking lot.  It looked as it always did, like a World War One battlefield.  We started our work for the day.

I recall reading later that week about this accident.  I was surprised.  The man was still living after being rolled over.  Perhaps he even survived.

Driving today on this beautiful warm day, remembering that morning on the Eisenhower, I also remembered what I saw a couple weeks ago in Detroit.

Traveling west on I-96 I exited for the Southfield.  It’s a ramp that takes you up high, left lane south, right lane north.  I started down the south exit, watching for merging traffic off the entry from westbound I-96.  All clear.  Safe.

On the Southfield, picking up speed, I see someone.  Walking north on the shoulder of the southbound Southfield.  I watch carefully.  It is a man walking aggressively, swinging his arms, his shoulders.  He is tall, slim.  He isn’t wearing a shirt.  Bare-chested.  It’s in the upper 30s.  I pass him.  I look up in the rearview mirror.   He is shrinking in the distance. I exit at Joy Road and head west.

These are the ways of people who are high.

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