Last Moment

by J+J

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about

It was a friday night just past midnight as I was driving through Hollywood after catching a double feature. I was heading to a friend’s apartment on La Brea to hang out and wait for my husband who was working late. As I was driving up Franklin in front of the Magic Castle, I noticed a car honk as a man was stumbling and subsequently jaywalking across the street on the opposite side and heading towards my side of the street. I slowed to a stop to wait for the man to cross. As I stopped and waited, I looked at him, and he looked back at me. He was bearded, but I could tell he was still pretty young. Maybe in his late 20’s, early 30’s. His clothes were dark and tattered and he was wearing a backpack. He seemed intoxicated. He was walking from a park across the street where a lot of homeless people frequent. RIght at that moment, a shiny new black audi coming up behind me, sped to go around me and hit the man straight on as it continued down Franklin. The man’s body twisted around and then flipped over the audi, as it continued to plow through him. Then the man landed on the concrete in front of my truck and his belongings scattered everywhere. The Audi paused for just a second after the impact, and then sped off. I got out and looked at the man. He was bleeding and he wasn’t breathing. He was surrounded by his stuff scattered about. A comb, a toothbrush, a jar of peanut butter, a few papers. Guests from the magic castle were on the sidewalk, yelling at me. They thought I was the one who hit the man. I was terrified. I thought I was going to jail. I thought everyone would blame me because the other guy fled and I stayed behind. As the police and helicopters started to arrive, I was frozen. I couldn’t move. I was still in shock and I couldn’t believe how I was so shaken up, and the other driver could have just fled like that. How could someone hit someone and still physically be able to drive away like that? I hysterically called my friend’s to let them know what happened and that I wasn’t coming over. They calmed me down enough to gain some composure. The police started interviewing witnesses and I was finally calm enough to talk to them. The officer took down my statement and assured me that I wasn’t at fault. He said, “You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I asked the officer about the homeless man. He said that he still wasn’t breathing as they loaded him into the ambulance and that it “didn’t look good.” The man had no identification so they couldn’t even contact his family or anything. I then asked the officer what would happen to me. He said, “This happens all the time.” He went on to say that they would only contact me if they catch the other driver. They let me go and I went home.

I have thought a lot about this experience, and it still haunts me. Why did I happen to be right there at that moment? What if I hadn’t been paying attention? Really, if one tiny thing had changed, I could have easily been the one that hit him. I was the last person to see this man alive, and I will never even know his name. Will he even get a funeral?

What concerns me about this issue is the fact that this apparently happens a lot and because these victims are homeless, their lives are somehow regarded as less than worthy. This type of situation is something we all see everyday but hardly ever talk about meaningfully.

I decided to write a song with my husband about this experience.

This song is an attempt to acknowledge the humanity of people who often go unnoticed in our society.

-Jillinda Palmer

credits

released January 26, 2017
Written By Jillinda Palmer & Joseph Napolitano
All instruments played by Joe and Jillinda,
except trumpet by Michael Bolger

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about

Jillinda Palmer Los Angeles, California

Palmer finally comes into her own with her new debut EP, Lazy Sun. Her endearing vocals soar over a variety of styles, from the languidly dreamy country-pop of the album's title track to the sly and swanky, horn-laden New Orleans jazz of "Song for Kermit," where she could be describing her own music when she declares, "Can't shake this feeling I get from a catchy melody." —Falling James -LA Weekly ... more

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