RUBBERNECK

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THE SIGHT of a car turned on its side and the flashing lights of a fire truck turns my head as I sit on the train from Parliament to Preston early on Monday morning. 

The car is crumpled, tipped entirely on its side, the passenger side doors flat on the ground. The street is an ordinary residential street. Generic. Sweet. Not a major arterial road. Many mornings have passed where I've seen kids riding bicycles to school, older couples walking hand in hand, the occasional man in a suit jacket and chino pants dashing across the road like a chicken in the hope of catching the train in time. Last week there was a couple, married probably,  kneeling in the front garden pulling weeds in the morning light. Today there are numerous emergency service workers standing in bright uniforms, positioned like numbers on a clock face around the car that is the wrong way up in a small street. 

I want to look more.

Rubbernecking.

The word drifts across my mind. I feel the sinew and flesh in my neck twist like rope, my eyes flicking desperately as I turn to snatch a glance out the window. But the train cares not. It neither stops nor slows, and continues to rattle forward, carrying me along with it. The scene flicks past me, a diorama unfurling beyond my view, a snatched view and I am shunted forwards towards the boom gates and the clanging of bells and the crossing of four lanes of traffic that will deliver me to the front door of my office. 

I do not know what happened to that crumpled car on that quiet street. 


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