The Narrative of the Car Accident
For the people who’ve met one too many airbags, I’m sharing my story.
Thank God there was no broken bones or oncoming traffic. I could be attempting to fold clothes with a cast arm. I could be comatose in the hospital, white as oreo icing squished between two cookies. I don’t know why God allowed this to happen. I don’t know who He is going to comfort by my experiencing this suffering He ordained for me. I have accepted and recieved it as a knee scrape on my journey which will strengthen someone else along the path. And before you think I’m so holy my fart smells like roses, please read my immediate reaction to the accident. Authenticity requites openness. I live Inside-Out.
I’m not sharing this for sympathy or hugs with pats. If you’ve never had an accident with airbags, please comment wisely. It’s hard to understand the trauma of real world bumper cars.
10:39 am. I post a blog on change and ballet.
11:40 am. I leave the house. I need to be at work at 12:30pm. I’m determined to be on time.
11:45 am. Sitting at the stoplight to leave my neighborhood. I post a tweet. I set the phone down. The light turns Green. I make the turn. I feel the temptation to pick up my phone again. I think of “DoGoodorDoNaught’s” youtube comment on my video confession that I need to be a safer driver. I keep both hands on the wheel. I approach an intersection. The lights are green.
11:50 am. On the other side of the intersection, a vehicle makes a speedy left turn. It continues it’s journey. I admire it’s timing. A white truck pulls into the center of the intersection. I’m used to this. I expect the driver to notice my existence as oncoming, right of way traffic. More slowly than the previous vehicle, he turns. His vehicle is in my direct line of fire. I have no where to go. I relinquish control and accept the inevitable.
11:51 am. Loud bang. Smell of gunpowder. Airbags deflating. The moment has happened. “F***!” I’m angry. I know how much trouble everything is. I know how much time will be wasted patching life back together. At that moment, I don’t care if God thinks this is a good idea. I’m ticked I had to experience this again … and it wasn’t even my fault. I turn my anger off. “There’s no point in taking this out on anyone.” I get out of the car. He gets out too.
"I wasn’t expecting to meet you this way. I’m Meg." "I’m Jon." "I guess I’m going to be late for work. I’d better call them. Can you call 911? We’ll need some help." "That sounds like a good idea."
I call work. I’m factual. I’m ok right now, but I won’t determine anything until the adrenaline wears off.
I look at Sandy. She spun from his sideways motion. Blood and Oil streak the ground. Faithful engine sits crumpled & bleeding. I never wanted to see her like this.
My hands start shaking. I know what needs to happen, but I can’t do it by myself. My shop is just up the street.
"Service Center, this is Ken." "This is Megan [We are on a first name basis] I had an accident just down the street from you. [My hand starts shaking. My voice cracks. I’m losing it.] Can you come and help me please?!" "I’ll be there."
12:05 pm. Official peole are already flocking to the scene like blood in a wound. Swelling. A wandering ambulance parks next to us as a shield. “Maybe you can get it fixed.” He’s an EMT. “No. The airbags went off. It’s dead.” I know too much.
Ken pulls into the corner gas station. “Thank you for coming.” “Of course. You’re ok. Cars are replacable. You are not.” My surrogate father hugs me. I hand my papers to the investigative cop. I show her my right arm. It’s scratched. Bag burn.
"This is proof both hands were on the wheel." She understands. Jon gets a citation.
The tow truck comes for Sandy. We’ll park her at Ken’s shop until her time comes. Her front is so mangled the driver has trouble hooking her up. An extra $50 bucks for the insurance.
She rolls away. The last journey my baby will ever take. My most faithful companion is leaving me. 8 years, she was so strong. I loved her so much. Excluding my five-month fling with the ill-fated Cordelia, Sandy’s been with me through everything. At least now I have people I can hide inside of. And I was just savoring what a journey we’d had.
Ken drives me to his shop. Ruth takes me in her arms. We pray thankfulness. I know I’m safe. I’m alive … and for that we are happy.
5:00 pm. I’m almost at work. Victor is my Dodge Avenger Date for the week and he very kindly took me to the urgent care. A few more phone calls. A few more x-rays. “It’s just a contusion, but we’ll get a radiologist to double check.” My knee is bruised. Thank God that’s all. I like my patelas hockey-puck solid, not cookie crumbled. I like jumping.
5:05 pm. I park in the garage. I’m not used to a buff macho car like Victor. I take my time finding a spot. The Hertz kid whined I wouldn’t buy his insurance. Self-centered sales person. I guess he hasn’t met any airbags lately. Get over your quota and care about people. I just put a bunch of stuff on my credit card that is already carrying more than it can handle. Get some life experience and find some compassion.
5:10 pm. My associate gives me the low down. We’ve had a busy day and there are projects to accomplish. “We can do this.” My back brace squeezes me so tight I wonder how corset-laced girls ever ate anything. Beauty is funny. We move the shelves, fold the shirts, even get Miss Manila Quin in the window. Her sisters are hiding in the closet, begging for attention. They’re not going to get it.
9:30 pm. The drawer is counted. The shirts are straightened. The deposit is made. I lock the door and go find Victor. I’m not used to push-button key. The “Click” sounds so nice, like a choir of miniature apprentice gears harmonizing on the unnoticed beauty and simplicity of “Science, at your service.” No one thanks him unless a wire breaks. Then we crank and kick the fridge. But not tonight. Tonight the simple harmony of a remote unlock is singing the comforts of my fortress Avenger. Victor takes me home. It’s been quite the journey.
The best is yet to come.