Not to Dance
Elita Sohmer Clayman

We were told no dancing for awhile by the doctor. Why? We were in a car accident on June 18, 2008 due to no fault of our own. A middle aged man texting to someone had his face down and ran a red light on a big and active street called Falls Road. An odd name since we really did ‘fall’ that day and quite hard. He hit us hard and I remember thinking I was in a James Bond movie where James would fly into the air and I felt like I was James. Only, I was the recipient of the fall and the flying. We were hit hard and the car requires about ten thousand dollars of repair and we require about ten thousand hours of pain and suffering.

It is not fair because the perpetrator of this ‘crime’ probably has no hurts or hospital care. We went to the emergency room of a good hospital and we were there for almost five hours. We had EKG’s and chest x-rays and my husband a cat scan.

Now we are taking or doing physical therapy for about three times a week for about five weeks. We are hurting in the chest and the back and the knees and lots of places because this imbecile had to text a message. The doctor said do not dance, do not do housework and put heating pads all over the injured parts and try to relax. It is hard to relax when you hurt for something you did not do to your self. You hurt because an individual wanted to send a message and could not wait to call or send it without being on the road in the midst of many cars and red lights.

I hope that any one reading this will take my thoughts on this to their minds and arms and not text or cell phone call while driving. It is not a wonderful thing to injure someone else because you are impatient in getting a communication to someone because you are in a hurry. No message is that significant or momentous that you need to take someone else’s life into your own hands and to damage them possibly forever. You can learn to wait as we did before cell phones and this thing called texting. We never heard of either of them before about nineteen ninety some when I got my first cell phone. I got it for emergencies if I was somewhere and needed to get in touch with a person because of an important need. I did not call while I was driving. I called when I pulled aside. Now we go into a doctor’s office or a grocery store and we ‘need’ to call someone or receive a call just many times to look important.

Learn to wait. We had to wait to get out of our damaged car with our damaged bodies and to take that cell phone and call the police, the tow truck and our daughter to come for us.

The doctor said no dance for now until our bodies heal. We also need to get this thing out of our mind of the open truck he was driving as he hit us hard and we thought we were in the James Bond movie and we were flying. In the Bond movie, it was fun to watch James ‘fly’. It was no fun when we felt we were flying. No fun or enjoyment indeed. We were scared stiff as they say.

We can live without the dance for a few months; we find it hard to live with the pain given to us by this inconsiderate and mean driver of the other car.

Remember when you go for your cell phone to call or text that you owe it to your neighbor, your fellow driver and to yourself to be thoughtful and caring of the other person’s privacy and body parts. The call can wait; the body should not sustain a hit because you were eager and antsy to talk to someone. Wait and you will not have it on your conscience that you injured an innocent person or persons. Life is too fragile to do harm to a stranger especially someone who does not deserve the pain you have inflicted.

James Bond was flying usually to help someone else. When we ‘fly’ because of an accident it is because someone was inconsiderate of other humans. The emotional toil on us as a stranger to this unknown person who did this to us is unbelievable. We wonder what was he thinking as he drove through a prominent red light on a street called Falls Road. Did he think of what he was doing? Did he care? He only thought that he had to use this moment in time on this Wednesday in the month of June, a few days away from a wonderful summer approaching that he had to correspond with someone. He was not a teenager on a cell phone who had no life experiences and did this without thinking. He was a grown man and as the Good Samaritan who was behind him and saw all this said
“I saw him and I thought, my God, what he is doing.” This good Samaritan named Dave came out of his car, stayed with my husband and me until our daughter came, called the police on his cell phone and was as caring and concerned towards us, two strangers, as the guy who did this to us was not.

Two strangers entered our lives that day at about three-thirty in the afternoon and there showed the differences of two ordinary men about the same age towards two senior citizens about fifteen years difference in ages. One was thoughtful and benevolent and the other careless and selfish.

The Good Samaritan Dave was the exact meaning of the word. He was good in a happening that he was driving into and he behaved like the fine man he most likely is. He did not hesitate to help two strangers out, to get the necessary assistance all on his cell phone. He used the instrument for a good cause whereas the other one used it to hurt someone else. We have all been warned not to drive and cell phone and yet he did.

Shakespeare in Sonnet 83 said “it never seemed to me that you needed to be praised”.

Dave needs to be praised; the bad guy needs to be condemned. Thomas Fuller said “praise is what makes good men better and bad men worse.” In this case a good man continued to be good and a bad man deserved no praise. He probably in his regular life is constantly leaping (no pun intended) before he is thinking.

We dancers are always taught to be considerate of other dancers on the floor and not to do things without thinking beforehand of anything that could harm another dancer because we are in a hurry.

I would rather be known as a good person who thinks ahead and does no harm to others either by what should be illegal cell phone or text use or anything else. I will continue to be a good driver and to keep my eyes on the road and I will wait to make that ‘important’ call because my life and other people’s lives are more dear than any phone call ever made in a hurry.

Elita Sohmer Clayman
Baltimore, Maryland
July 2008

Keep on Dancing


Published by René Zgraggen
Montgomery, AL