"Today is going to be a great day," I thought, running through the standard 3.5 mile course around Towson. The sun was out, it was warm, my Arabic class was over. Cha and I were going to look at a house on Patterson Park and have lunch at the Kumari buffet, I was going to drink wine at Yahtzee's and show him Mexico pics...
On the way from Cha's office to the house we were involved in a serious car accident. Neither of us was hurt, but the driver of the other car was pretty banged up and was taken away in an ambulance. We were heading East on Orleans, preparing to make a left on Luzerne...I remember turning my wheels and waiting, seeing two cars and a truck in the far oncoming lane, and then I heard a horn and a car I hadn't even seen smashed into the driver's side front quarter panel. There was a powerful impact, Cha asked in surprise "What happened?" I tried to start the car but nothing would happen, then realized how serious it was and jumped out and ran to check on the other driver. Her car was a block away off to the side, and her engine was on the road and she was jammed in by a crumpled door and her airbag, wailing through the open window. A police officer was already assisting her, and asked me to step back when I tried to help him pull open her door.
The standard chaos followed of EMTs asking if we were ok, and cops asking us what happened, and a witness saying "that woman was flying--I was behind you and saw it." I remembered being completely surprised by the impact; I didn't really realize what had happened for a few seconds. Cha thought we'd hit a ditch. My Accord is toast--I saw the windshield wiper fluid box five meters away from the impact scene. I never got to speak to the other driver. It took them some time to get her out of the car, and the police said she had some bruises but was mostly just shook up. They didn't hand out any citations but told Cha the other woman must have been going very fast. I don't care what happens as long as she's ok.
Then, towing, insurance--all robotic, rote. Not three months ago I'd dropped collision on the Accord because I drive it once a month. Now we're down to one car again and it's a good thing I walk to work.
Holy fuck--if I'd started to turn instead of pausing there would have been fatalities. Just last week I was thinking "Wow, I haven't been in a car accident since I was a teenager," and then there was that uncomfortable 'knock wood' feeling.