when i tended to this blog regularly, i frequently made an issue of the weather. never was i fearful of it, but i did have a great respect for the beast. i do not fear now, but i realize that no amount of care or grace will prevent me from falling victim to that illusive black ice.
i was heading in the direction of SBM's house - actually, OUR house - driving on a road that i don't normally take at that hour. my seat-belt latched firmly across my trunk, colin meloy crooning on the stereo. 35mph speed limit, wet road, i slowed to a conservative 20mph, proceeded into an unforgiving curve in the road, entered a ferocious spin. the steering wheel jerked out of my control and my driving foot slammed the brake pedal hard and fast. i spun around once, twice, my passenger side slammed into a tree, i was thrown back, around, and sideways into a ditch. i could see again. the world stopped it's chaotic assailing spin. i put the car in park and switched on the emergency blinkers, i silenced colin. i opened the driver's side door and found that i would have to wedge myself out of the car. immediately, i was met the obnoxious smell of burning rubber. a quick survey found that my bumper was thrown from the car, my passenger-side headlight was decimated and that quarter-panel crumpled. the hood was in a bit of disarray and my tank of windshield-washing fluid looked as if it had been mauled by a can opener. six people stopped and offered assistance: a phone, a ride, a drink. i graciously decline and called SBM, no answer on either line.
i called my mother: "mom, i just got into an accident, i can't drive the car, i am ok, no need for a doctor, do you think it best to call the police or just put a call into the insurance blood suckers?"
mum: "oh shit. are you sure you're ok?"
me: "yes, i'm fine."
the decision to call the police was no longer mine, as a cruiser arrived on the scene. it is an auto-response to become nervous around police for me, i do not know why. they make my paranoia get up and dance. the officer exited his vehicle and approached me. i saw only his silhouette against the too-bright headlights and flashing red and blues; it was a scene from close encounters. i talked him through what happened, emphasizing my speed and latched seat-belt. as he walked up the hill, following my tire marks, i tried calling SBM again. he answered and was greeted by: "hey, killah, i was in an accident. i'm ok, but i can't drive my car. could you please come and pick me up?"
the officer joined me by my wreckage. he asked me to walk over to the tree that i hit. i showed him what i believed the point of impact to be, we both noted the 10-foot drop just beyond the tree.
he said: "do you have any idea how lucky you are? if you had been going any faster, this tree would not have held."
me: "yes, sir. i am just thankful that i did not hit anyone else. i am especially grateful that i was not traveling any faster, otherwise i would ran right off the road, down 20 feet on the other side of the road and into the creek."
the officer stated that the accident was obviously caused by road conditions... as he had lost his footing several times just walking up the hill where i had spun. four other cruisers stopped by, a fifth stayed and i sat in the back. i was given a copy of the preliminary police report and escorted back to the car that my officer was in. the other officers put a call into the state due to the conditions of the road that i crashed on and several others in the area. in fact, as i was sitting in the first vehicle, three other calls came in about crashes. flares were placed at the top of the hill where i entered my spin as a warning to other motorists.
stu arrived on the scene moments after a tow truck mounted my car. we drove back to our house, he mixed a strong vodka-and-whatever drink, and i proceeded to deliver the details. he was amazed. "you should be dead"
i am too damn stubborn to die. and really, only the good die young... i will be around for quite some time.