This is a stream-of-consciousness article, so bear with me.

I was driving in to Chicago (Tuesday) at about 2:30 p.m. and was approaching the city’s heart on LakeShore Drive, near McCormick Place, where there are 3 or 4 lanes going in to the city and 3 or 4 coming out, separated by a short retaining wall.

My peripheral vision is not that great. I am actually restricted on my driver’s license to driving only vehicles “with side mirrors” because I have flunked the peripheral vision test part on the driver’s license eye exam on more than one occasion. I wonder if it is related to cataracts developing around the edges of my cornea?

Regardless of the reason, I saw, out of the corner of my right eye, smoke. I looked over and saw that a car in the far right lane was smoking. It was driving on the axle. And the tire was bouncing across three lanes of busy traffic heading right towards me. I knew that, in order to keep the tire from making contact with my vehicle, a Toyota Prius, I needed to brake hard RIGHT NOW. I prayed that the guy behind me wouldn’t rear-end me (he didn’t). So, the tire missed me by less than six inches, I’d say, and then hit the retaining wall.

I remember thinking: “Oh, oh.”

Rather than rebounding towards me, the tire bounced literally 8 to 10 feet in teh air after hitting the wall and then sailed OVER the wall and continued to bounce its way through the outgoing lanes of traffic. I would have liked to have watched to see what was going to happen, but the traffic was moving at roughly 60 miles an hour, so no deal there, I hope it didn’t cause any accidents for the outgoing traffic.

It made me think of the tire tread that was thrown up and hit my car’s grill, taking out all of the grill-work and tearing the cardboard thing off the bottom of my car that somehow is used to insulate the motor mechanism from the pavement, I guess. St. Christopher has recently been defrocked, but he must have been watching out for me.