The Second That Takes Forever

ArizBlur cr 48bit 800 dust047This just happened yesterday, September 26.

It comes out of nowhere. There’s a car only twenty feet in front of me, sideways to my grill. I push the brake pedal. I don’t even realize I’m pushing until I sense it’s not stopping me fast enough. I’m so close to the car now and it’s not moving away quick enough. Is it moving at all? Or is everything slow motion during this second before impact? There’s nothing I can do. I hear the tires screech but they’re only guiding my missile directly toward the car. It’s almost here. The injury. The hassle. The insurance crap. Having no car. An emotional, angry motorist I’ve hit. I see the driver’s face, looking at me like I’m crazy for hurling my car at his. But he’s moving now, completing a u turn, a stupid u turn, and I’m mad. Take this, you mother fucker! Take this! If I cannot stop, if I cannot avoid you, then take it for all it’s worth, you idiot for luring me into your stupid world of dangerous carelessness.

It’s the unmistakable sound cars make crashing, equal amounts bass and high-pitched treble. His car takes the brunt, getting knocked off course. Mine plows through and stops. No whiplash. No smashing glass. No head to the steering wheel. Clean, precise direct hit collision. Then silence.

My longest second is over. Time for its ugly, timeless aftermath.

I drive to the shoulder, crank the parking brake, open the door and prepare to meet the consequences head on. A hysterical driver? A bloodied driver? A mess I’ll pay for for months?

Nothing. The car is gone. Just over the hill from whence I came, I hear the car speeding off. An entire plastic bumper unit sits in the middle of the road, surrounded by small debris. The guy had no insurance. That has to be it. Why stick around when he knew he’d made a huge mistake – that’s what I think.

An ugly split on my bumper, a slightly cockeyed hood, but nothing else. Like a metal missile just hit a plastic tug boat. He’s gone. I never want to see him again. I’m glad there’s no insurance claims, no police scene. Should I feel bad for saying this? I clear the road of the bumper and various parts while cars slowly pass, passengers rubbernecking to view.

For such a crash, so little damage. For one so unlucky to be the guy behind him, luckier still to walk away. What remains are surprising thoughts, the collision of thoughts that flashed through my mind so quickly, as surprising as spotting a car coming at you out of nowhere.

3 Comments

Filed under Blog, The Daily Thought

3 responses to “The Second That Takes Forever

  1. ugh…bad news. but could have been much worse. glad you’re okay. and he must’ve been if he drove off, right? maybe he was d.w.i, or on something.

  2. Debra Marrs

    Ohhh… Myyyy… Gosh, Mike. I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you. What a story you tell. As if in slow motion, I felt every second of it too. I hope you’re okay but imagine you felt a bit banged up the next day and the next. What a jerk the other driver was. Quite the lame ass. Perhaps it’s better you never had to speak to the idiot. That way, you have only the story and memories of the crash and not the drama of he said/I said to rattle around in your brain. Wishing you ALL the best going forward.

  3. Thanks. Yeah, I am fine – no delayed whiplash or anything. Watching the collision seemed for a split second like “the big one.” Then – nowhere near it. I was lucky. And thankful!

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