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
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