Yesterday I wrote a lengthy piece on Tumblr, but then my laptop crashed. I figured the hell with it. I’ve wanted to keep matters regarding my car accident private; however, my feelings deep down are still gnawing inside.
A few seconds of distraction behind the wheel resulted in a collision. Screaming was my only line of defense. Boom. The air bags immediately popped off. I was lucid and mindful enough to mention the presence of a woman holding a crying child; her vehicle was struck by me. From the beginning I apologized profusely, from the passenger beside me to witnesses on the sidewalk.
Guilt, shame, anxiety have weighed my emotions since the aftermath.
The what ifs plagued me. Alternative scenarios like plowing into water replayed in my mind. The morbid reality of being submerged underwater brings on a depressing and terrifying end, one that can even go unnoticed for years or decades by every blind eye riding a road. My accident has made me think of high profile cases of fatal crashes. The inebriated mom who rammed her car onto another on the Taconic Parkway, while kids were in the backseat. The shocking case was chronicled in a HBO documentary called There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane.
As a Brand New fan, I remembered one song off their third album called “Limousine”. The backstory was actually inspired by a real life case where a Long Island family was returning from a wedding reception during Independence Day weekend in 2005. A drunk guy collided super fast onto a limo. The flower girl was decapitated. The man responsible was charged and sentenced for killing most of the passengers, including Katie Flynn.
Your mind cannot help but wonder the possibilities. What if I did that? Luckily people weren’t injured in my accident. Besides a slight chest abrasion and a bruised thigh in the size of a fat and putrefied plum, I’m still alive. As crappy as the situation was, I’m glad to say my distraction wasn’t caused by the triviality of a text message. I was having idle chit chat with my friend in the car. My auto pilot drifted somewhere. Something so minuscule turned damaging. Between the chaos of crashing and handling business, I just wanted to go home to my sanctuary.
As the person responsible for this, you take away more than someone’s transportation. You rob of their responsibilities. You take away their safeguard. While people have been supportive and gracious, I’m still living with the disappointment that the wreck could have been completely avoided. No amount of apologies or payload could rectify the situation.
What hadn’t I stayed home instead to watch The Night Of?
Maybe we should have stopped by the flea market.
I should have turned right onto Indian Creek.
I call it survivor’s remorse.
This kinda thing makes you extra-vigilant on the road. A little paranoid crossing an intersection or whatever may be. Despite it all, people care about your well being. The strangers on the sidewalk were encouraging and held good spirits that I walked away alive. Then they said goodbye and went their way. I was embarrassed for causing a scene and heightening evening traffic. I felt bad for scaring the kids. I didn’t mean for all this.
I’m scrutinizing myself because the wreck could have been a close call. There are 1000 ways to die though. Choking on food, chain smoking, cancer. You name it. Healthy or not healthy. The grim reaper can appear anytime. The sucky part is someone placing your trust and confidence on the road, then having that removed from them. You don’t want to show your face to the world.
This was my first accident. Pay attention, don’t text, don’t drink. Ride an Uber or Lyft. Don’t act irresponsible on the road. Affecting one person with my words is good enough for me.