Today you got into a car accident. You changed lanes without looking first and you sideswiped a guy. The two of you pulled over and exchanged information. You have a good insurance plan and you told him he should be fine.
“I hope so,” he said. Then he asked, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
You said, “I’m going to be murdered in 499 days.”
He said, “I’m sorry to hear it.” Perfect poker face.
You said, “I wonder if you’re the one who’s going to kill me.” You looked at his information and added, “Arthur Douglas Prescott.”
He said, “I’ve never hurt anyone in my life.”
You told him we’ve all hurt somebody at some point. He said that’s probably true. He has broken a heart or two in his rear view.
“Sometimes needlessly,” Arthur said. “Just to prove to them that, by hurting them, they were wrong to have gotten involved with me.”
Arthur ran his hand through his weak scalp of brown hair. It was getting messy in the wind.
“I feel like we’d be friends under other circumstances,” you told Arthur.
“I’m not going to kill you,” Arthur said. “Or wait, is this insurance info for real?”
You told him yes, it was. It’s not that. It’s just, now that you’ve crashed into each other, you’re in each other’s orbits.
“Who knows how this will play out?”
Arthur seemed to size you up then. It’s like he was trying to figure out whether he could overpower you physically, or would he have to use a weapon?
“Maybe I’ll see you again,” you said to Arthur.
“Not if I see you first,” he said.
It’s moments like that one—and like the one you had later in the afternoon when you were cheating on your wife with a married woman, and her husband came home and chased you out of the house vowing to kill you if he ever finds you—that make you realize it could be anybody. Anyone you meet could be the person who takes your life 499 days from now.
Happy 499 Days Day!