On my way to work the other day, as the sun was rising, I saw a twelve year old girl trip on a piece of concrete. Her momentum gave her precious little time to brace for the impact. Her knees and hands hit first, followed quickly by her forehead. It took her a few seconds to register what had happened. She rose to her knees, then stood assessing the damage. From my vantage point I could see the early morning sun reflecting off her wounds.
The first of her expressions to follow was that of shock and regret. The regret of not slowing down, or not leaving a little earlier, or not living in a place filled with concrete. The pain registered and was soon followed by a slow stream of silent tears, for there was no one to listen.
Blink and another painful memory in her life and an even quicker departure from my conscience fades into time. Mine just a reminder of the human experience, hers a notch on the post of a tortured existence that seems to have forgotten twelve year old girls in this neighborhood. Fairness is a word used by politicians and preachers, but not by too old boyfriends and step-parents. Life is about reality and not about mystical fantasies of "what ifs?"
A taste of concrete may be sweeter that the alternative. Never underestimate persepctive.