By Delilah McMasters
I’ve been rushing around a lot, seems everywhere I go l’m in a hurry to get to the next place, my phone constantly going off or ringing, things piling up and needing to be done as I speed through the chaos to the next thing needing attention. The only problem with this is I get tunnel vision, I get so focused on careening from one place or issue to another I miss the big picture.
I drive between offices regularly, always rushing to get there or home by a decent hour without sitting in traffic too terribly long. I’ve become used to the drive, do it out of habit, listen to music, podcasts, take work calls. You get the idea.
Recently I’m between offices in Dallas, notice the traffic on US 75, take the service road, mentally high fiving myself for avoiding the delay. I’ll be able to get to the office and back on the road before traffic gets bogged down heading to the next office and home. I’m on the phone, got that handled, come up behind a white SUV, he goes around the car in front of him, I thought I heard gun shots.
I notice the truck has its driver’s side door open, quickly deduct there is some kind of breakdown and go around the truck too, stopping beside it. Look over and there is a couple of men in the street, one holding the obligatory cardboard sign you see at most intersections by the homeless, glance at the truck beside me and there is a man in the broken-down truck, look back at the light, hear gun shots again and look over to see one of the men in the street slightly stumble and fall forward.
There is a man dead in the road beside me. There is a white truck with men getting out of it parked beside the underpass, another man with a gun in the intersection. Everything stopped.
What just happened?! How did this happen? There is a man dead in the road! How does this happen? There are car horns and yells of “GO GO GO!!”
The homeless man is standing with his cardboard sign over the dead man as he’s bleeding onto the street and there is yelling and a man running off. I make eye contact with a man, he points at his phone and yells again, “GO!”
The whole thing is surreal and I’m questioning everything I’ve ever preached about how you help your fellow man, yet I don’t know how at the moment. Cars are honking and 911 has been called. Afterward I have no information, I discovered I was presumptuous about my surroundings, which made me oblivious of the situation.
There was not a broken-down truck, there were not two homeless men arguing. There was road rage, guns shot, an exit taken and men out of vehicles with more shots fired. I had it completely wrong and was so involved in my own rushing around I was of no help. But then how do you fix road rage? How does anyone gets to the point while driving to think the solution is to bring out a gun? And what is the right thing to do when there are guns being shot at an intersection? Do you get out of the car? Do you get out of the way? I’m still battling this in my head. Was there anything I could have done to if I had been paying better attention?
Did I learn anything? I would like to say, yes, but I didn’t. I’m still rushing around, trying to save time. Last week I had to pick up a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes. I placed the cake on the back of the trunk while I moved some things around from the front to the back for the next office I was going to. Got in the car and headed out of the parking lot. Got to the end of lot and this truck stops directly in front of me, the woman starts making hand motions, yelling, pointing. And I snap, what is wrong with people? Why is everyone always yelling? What is going on over here? I’m sorry! I don’t know what I’ve done, but I apologize!
There is a tap at the window. I look over and there is this sweet, little girl huffing and puffing, with my cake. She has run the length of the parking lot to bring it to me. The woman in the truck waved at me and I waved back. I thanked the young lady profusely.
Is it being oblivious, is it a lack of empathy or is it acceptance when you shut out the world around you? Or is it the chaos of the things around you that keep you rushing back to the ones you love for fear of missing the life you have with them? I wish I had the answer. I just know if it means rushing all day so I can get home before 6:30 p.m. to spend time with the Drama Squad, I’ll go 80 with blinders on.
Delilah McMasters is a local resident and the mother of six. Reach her at BlessYourHeart76063@gmail.com.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.