I was at Target yesterday morning. By this point, I was in the checkout lane. It was 8:20 or so. Early. I’d unloaded my cart: a kitchen cleaner, a bag of cat food, a bunch of Hot Wheels cars for my niece’s Christmas gift, two rolls of wrapping paper under my arm.

A woman with one item asked if she could cut in front of me so she could get to her bus. Sure.

The cashier started ringing me up. A woman came in line behind me and unloaded some Monster School toys. The cashier asked her if her daughter, who was standing next to the customer, was a fan. Another Target employee came over.

“I don’t understand,” the customer and both cashiers said, referencing the popularity of what I assume is a TV show.

“You just don’t get it,” the little girl rolled her eyes.

Really Shaken Up

Thursday night was the holiday party. This is my second holiday season at work, but the first holiday party I could attend – I was at a funeral during last year’s. I was one of the first in, I was one of the last out. Traffic in Foggy Bottom, courtesy of a bomb threat at the Swedish Embassy (in Georgetown), was a slog fest. Got on a bus with a couple of coworkers. Got home eventually.

Today was a relaxed day. Many were already starting their holiday vacations, not to return until the new year. Many spent the day de-cluttering file cabinets and cleaning desks. I stared at spreadsheets and databases and wondered why the time moved so slowly.

A good friend of mine was back in town from San Francisco, where she moved earlier in the fall. Happy Hour at 5, and I ducked out 4:30, walking to 20th & M to catch the number 37 bus.

An ambulance, a firetruck, and police cars were on the street, lights flashing. 20th Street was reduced to one lane northbound. I crossed to the north side of M Street. There was a red scooter. Broken glass. A sock. I crossed 20th.

A former coworker of mine was at the bus stop. We worked together at Border’s. We sometimes see each other on the L-route buses.

“I saw what happened,” she told me. “The woman on the scooter was clipped by that car.” She pointed. “The car was turning right from the wrong lane, she was on the inside lane. He didn’t hit her that hard, just tapped her, but she went down and skidded across the road. I called 9-1-1. Helped lift the scooter off her. Her leg is all fucked up, her arm is broken, her shoulder is dislocated.”

She pointed at a guy standing on the road, the driver. “He handled it right. He stopped. I’m really shaken up.”

The 37 still wasn’t coming. A dude in a suit started cursing.

“I don’t understand why that ambulance isn’t moving. She’s been in there for ten minutes. I think they should take her to the hospital.”

A guy got out of the back of the ambulance. He was smiling. “Maybe they gave her pain-killers?”

An older fellow with a big shaggy gray beard observed, “That’s a good sign.” The D6 pulled up and almost pulled away. He jumped off the bench and started screaming at the driver.

“He is so drunk.”

The police stopped traffic so the ambulance could back up and drive away on M Street. The police waited as a tow truck worked to load the scooter.

There was still no bus.