Walking down Haight from Buena Vista. Charlie’s doing his usual. Escorting me toward Divis to get a treat. One of his regular stops. Suddenly a skater’s bombing down that steep bit right before the light. Nose in the air. Doing some trick—I don’t know the fuckin name of it. He was going too fast. The instant I saw him I didn’t feel good about it. He continues straight into oncoming traffic. A walking lady is hit. A Subaru slams. Everything stops. People gather round quick. Some chick looks to her friend: “What just happened?” “That skater hit her.” A Muni driver gets out—it all happened right in front of his 7. She’s in the fetal position. Moaning, ghastly, rhythmic, like an animal. Like oooooo ooooooooo ooooooo. I wait for the light, cross at the walk. Charlie missed the whole thing and tugs me the other way to his next snack. Without intending to, almost trance-like, I find myself heading toward the commotion/stillness. She looks older, I can’t tell. Her face is buried in her hair. Similar to my natural color, a kinda mousy light brown. Thinner. Everyone surrounds her, an ambulance is being called, there’s nothing I can do to contribute, until I see the dude grab his skate outside the circle. No one is looking to him. He’s looking to the sky. Poor guy’s in shock. Saying to no one and everyone at once: “Fuck. Maybe we should get her to sit up.” No one heard him, no one acknowledged. He was shorter. Whitish dude with darker features. Baggy clothes. Physiognomy registered as neither attractive nor particularly sharp. He looked at me. I looked back, stared into him, jaw tight, and said under my breath, but loud enough so he could hear it: “Piece of shit” while walking away. Dunno where it came from, but it came up. Calm, upright, but absolutely heated inside. Not proud of it. She’s unconscious. The one whose whispers cut.