All those cliches come to mind. Stuff about "in a heartbeat", "a split second", and how life changes on a random whim. Straightaway, here's the news: I lost control of my wife's car on a 12 hour drive home up the Interstate from the Bay Area to Portland. Another list of cliches begins with "wake-up call", thought I could just push through, and "lucky to be alive."
We skidded, hit a semi truck, spun in a circle, and ended up on the shoulder of the freeway perfectly tucked away from any more danger. That last point is the only thing I feel good about. "Not my time " or somebody "watching over us" fits well here.
I will not drive when I haven't had enough sleep again. How many times do you want me to write that? I'll do it because I take full responsibility for not taking responsibility. That's hard for me because I live my life carefully. Usually within strict borders that keep risk-taking to a careful minimum. I'm being hard on myself here because I need to be. That nobody was seriously hurt is an eye-catching miracle. I now know this. Only my sweet wife, Katie, seems to have suffered any physical consequences: a bruised rib probably caused from the tight seat belt. This week I'm reminded of my colossal fuck-up every time I hear her groan when she rises out of bed or off the couch or in and out of my truck.
So, I ask myself, what have we learned from this, since it's clear when you walk away from a car that's totaled you are lost in thought now and again?
I'm taking stock and will return to respond here after more deep thinking.
Here: my list of learned facts:
Your brain can turn itself off in an instant.
Seat belts work, even if air bags don't deploy properly
A totaled car is only the beginning of another list of consequences that cost
everything from money to bruised pride and self-esteem
If your eyes start to feel heavy, get off the road immediately because
your brain can turn itself off in an instant
There are good people everywhere waiting to help you when you need it most