Monday, July 17, 2006

You Have Got to Be Kidding. Please Make It Stop.

There was a short item in the Washington Post Regional Briefing section today. You may have missed it -- I nearly did:
Skateboarder Hit by Car, Killed
A 42-year-old man from Silver Spring was killed while skateboarding yesterday in the Hillandale area of Montgomery County, police said.

The man had been skateboarding on private property and traveled into a street, where he collided with an automobile, police said.

The incident occurred about 12:45 p.m. in the 10500 block of Sweetbriar Parkway. Police said the man was pinned beneath the car when they arrived.

The man's identity was withheld until his relatives could be notified. Police said the incident was under investigation.
A skateboarder getting killed by a car, while uncommon and tragic, is not particularly unusual. There's no cognitive dissonance. It makes sense, even if it doesn't make sense.

A 42-year-old killed while skateboarding... now that's a little different. It makes a little blip of a tragic news story about some guy you didn't know a little more notable.

If you heard about it, you might file it away as one of those little odd death stories and send the link off to someone tomorrow. Maybe see it written up next month in the News of the Weird.

Later this evening, I got the phone call.

It turns out the 42-year-old was Bob, my friend and most recent boss.

This happens barely two weeks after the passing of another friend and former co-worker, which I still haven't written about and barely talked about. (She was 33. Cancer.)

None of us knows anything more right now other than what's in the article. When I heard the words "hit by a car" and "skateboard" over the phone, my second reaction was this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'd heard this story somewhere before.

For those that knew Bob, getting killed while skateboarding... well, I can't say that it would have been the first thing I would have thought of (he'd had a mild heart episode last year), and I hadn't known he'd picked up a deck, but, yeah it kind of fits in a ridiculous way.

So, while it doesn't make sense, it makes sense, but then it doesn't make sense again, in that huge, final, all-encompassing way.

He will be missed.

Anyway, please make it stop.


Anonymous said...

That's horrible! So sorry for your loss.

Joelogon said...

Thanks, um, sweetie.

Anonymous said...

I knew Bobby too and have been racking my brain about this horrible accident. How did it happen, why? He was such a wonderful man and an incredible father. Val & family please let us know our prayers are with you.