On his website, UnPhotographable, Michael David Murphy always starts with, “This is a picture I did not take…”, and then he tells a story.
I had an unphotographable moment this week when I was visiting Texas A&M. There was a second when I noticed something familiar to me. It was that sound or lack of sound that happens when a group of people hold their breath all at the same time. It was followed quickly by a loud pounding sound that was what made me turn completely around just in time to see a white van (a university van) backing up over a bicycle. The bicyclist was standing over his bike and hitting the back window of the van violently to call attention to the driver. The van stopped quick. It was all so quick, a split second, but not quick enough.
The sound of the crushing metal was deceptive. As if the bike was something bigger. The spokes popped with such force that was then accompanied by a hard pinging noise. When the van moved forward, there was another sound crushing sound and then the tire underneath popped out almost square. Thousands of years of technological advancement is no match for a thousand pound van.
The look of defeat on the bicycle owners face when he lifted the mangled front end up is what I wished I’d captured.