February 7, 2010. A sparkling clear Sunday, around lunchtime. It was probably the luckiest day of my life, and a moment of feeling intensely alive.
“OK, see you there!”
“Do you want someone to ride with you over there?”
“No, no. I’ll be right over. Let me just lock up here, and I’ll be right behind you.”
And so they all headed off to lunch. I shut down the computer, locked the door, and was soon on my way to a nearby restaurant, not five minutes behind them.
I’ve been there once before, it’s right along here somewhere. Wait, did I pass it already? I can never remember if it’s in this block, or after the next light. Whoa — THERE it is!” I was almost on top of it, so pressed the brakes quickly and made the left turn into the driveway and parking lot.
Sounds: a long extended crunching sound as a huge SUV broadsided the passenger side of my Jeep Liberty. Oh. Fuck. No.
Jolting, stopping, going. A dizzying turning and tipping as the nose of the SUV pushed my car diagonally and upward. The sound of a Coke can crushing, amplified to the nth power. Is that my voice yelling? Time goes into slow motion. A strange tinkling sound like sleet — and then, suddenly, stillness. What the hell happened?
Where are my glasses? Am I bleeding? No, good. A tingling and burning on my thigh, smooshed against the steering wheel. Pressure of my shoulder against the door — where is the window? My car has come to rest up against a telephone pole, tilted at about 45 degrees. Oh, Jesus.
Voices. “Ma’am, are you all right?” A wrenching, twisting, screeching THUNK as someone pulls the door open. “Ma’am, let us help you. Take it slow.” Another shower of tinkling sleet, as tiny pieces of glass fall into my lap, onto the floor, onto the ground. They catch the sunlight. I slide downward and out, because two wheels of my car are not touching the ground. I’m on my feet. I’m standing. The touch of many hands on my arms. “Ma’am, everything is going to be fine. We have called the police and an ambulance.”
Sights. Sounds. Breathe. Look.
Sensation numbs. My mind floods with thoughts. Where is my phone? I need to call State Farm. And Chris. And Abby. Thank God Paul wan’t riding with me! Damn, my thigh is burning! That will become a nasty bruise in a few days. “Was anybody hurt?” I ask nobody in particular. I see and assume it is the driver of the other car, and her passenger: visibly upset, but standing, walking around — uninjured. Fine. Alive.
And so am I.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
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