In June 2010, I made a stop in Boston to meet a friend for lunch. We had planned to eat at a swanky bistro with a view of the Atlantic and, in the distance, planes soaring into the sky from Logan Airport.
It was a day illuminated by summer sunshine, a Friday of loosened ties and rolled-up sleeves. Boston Common felt like a college campus.
Driving to pick up my friend, I quickly got lost in gridlock. I was circling Boston’s streets, fumbling to read the directions on my Blackberry, looking up and slamming the brakes.
Approaching one intersection for the second or third time, I caught sight of something off to my right. It was a wheelchair. Next to it was a man lying on the ground. I was alarmed. Had he fallen off? Was anyone helping him? Was he hurt? Just a few yards ahead, on the right, I saw an alleyway. Should I turn in?
I ticked through these questions as I waited for the light to change, glancing from it to the man on the ground. The light turned. I looked up, saw green, and drove. Someone will help him, I thought.
As I accelerated beyond the intersection, I glanced into my rearview mirror. I watched someone stride toward the man and the wheelchair and, with perfect grace, sidestep both.