Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker


Coupla weeks ago saw girl hit by car. Heard the screech, turned to see her cartwheeling above the sedan. Legs, arms, coat, hair, bags out. Came down splits on hood of car. Slid forward good distance, too far, in a crump. Still, except left leg twitching. Didn’t know what to do, so ran forward. Ran back. Looked for a phone. Everybody looked for a phone. Cross-drew cell phones, called so fast, like a radio contest. Didn’t win. Three people said, I know first aid. Squatted next to her. Did nothing. Don’t move her. Back away. Give her air. Air? Plenty of air. Plenty of space. Now a crowd. Construction worker from near site, waves orange flag, diverts other cars, yellow animals, wheeled elephants. Emergency men and women come. Fire trucks come. Cops come last. Offending driver on the phone. Dialing, redialing. Who to call? Nobody. Call for business, call for hands moving, call to do anything, something. He is in trouble, nervous, anxious. His fault, probably. Run a light? Don’t know. Probably too fast. I called. She’s fine. Outside, anyway.

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Grant Barrett