12 August 2011

Crash NDE

In keeping with the guest post swing of things, I have some hot news. I had a piece published yesterday on someone else's blog. Yes, I was a guest writer. My piece, Letter to a Ghost, that I wrote about my absent father a few weeks back is now up on the Guest Writer Blog but you can find the original post here. His intro for me was simply amazing. But on to the main point...

Today we have the lovely Nyx from Notions. She's awesome, I love her, you'll think she's awesome, you'll love her. I mean, who doesn't love cat pictures, blogger going ons, and just random trains of thought. Me and Nyx, yeah we're pretty tight bloggie friends. So check out her bloggity blog and show her the glowing love that's just tugging at your heart strings. But, without further rambling, here is her story.

As the smell of gunpowder invaded my nostrils, I realized that I was no longer driving down Rt. 72.

Nope.  I was in a tree.

A big, fat, old gnarled tree.  One that, for some inexplicable reason, my car had wrapped itself around.  I didn’t know why, I didn’t know how.  All I knew that I had been driving down the road, singing along to the radio at the top of my lungs, and then suddenly…tree.

I stared around the interior of my car.  Both airbags had deployed, and a spider crack stretched its way across my windshield, almost as though it were reaching for me.   My hands fumbled for the door handle – I remember that it felt cool to the touch; I remember shoving against the door and feeling it creak its way open.  I could barely catch my breath as I saw the state my car – my beloved silver Sebring – was in.  Its hood was crumpled like silver tissue paper, tree branches jutted out from every angle, and its tires hung sadly from bent and broken rims.  I glimpsed towards the road – there were people there, shouting.

I stumbled my way towards them.  I walked, tripped through the carnage my car had left in its wake.  Stumbled through a ditch, and then finally I was with the bystanders.

“Don’t worry, we called 911.  Are you hurt?  You should lay down.”  The words infiltrated my brain – almost in slow-motion.  I remember telling whoever it was that I’m fine, that I don’t need to lay down, thank you very much for your concern.

I grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket – It remained unscathed.  Fingers shaking, I dialed my father.

“Hello?”  I almost broke down right there, in front of all the people who had stopped, when I heard his voice on the other end.

“Dad.  I have a bit of a problem.  I had a bit of a car crash.”  I could hear him mutter an explicative, heard my mother question what was wrong.  They had been out to dinner with their friend.  Well.  Shit.

“How bad is it?”  I got the feeling that he thought it was simply a fender bender; it was just something that was going to give him a headache and insurance worries.

“Uhm.  I think the car’s totaled Dad.  It’s wrapped around a tree.”   Sharp intake of breath.  More muttered explicatives.  

“We’ll be right there.  Do you need an ambulance?  God damn it Sara.”

“No.  I’m fine, it’s the car that’s toasted.  I’m on Rt. 72.”  Click.

Y’know that feeling that you get right before the big drop on a roller coaster?  The one where you stomach somehow claws its way up into your throat, grabs the terror center of your brain, and just shakes it?  Yea.  That’s exactly how I felt, for 45 straight minutes.

As I sat there, on the side of the road, trying to comprehend exactly what had just happened – and was I dreaming? – a man approached me.  I remember how he looked vividly, and I could definitely pick him out of a crowd now – even years later.  He was very average looking – maybe 5’10”, pot bellied and balding.  He was wearing a white shirt, with some sort of stain running across the belly, and he had very, very bad teeth.  Yellow and gnarled, his breath stunk like a garbage disposal.

Spit flew out of his mouth as he screamed at me.  I dimly realized that this man thought that I was just some drunk college kid, that I had been under the influence of something.  A flush creeped its way up his neck, and he spat at my feet.  I stared blankly at him.

Another man intervened – this one around my age.  Tall, maybe 6’1”, in good athletic shape.  He was also quite hunky.  The first man took a swing at Hunky, missed.  Hunky told him to get in his car and just drive away – before he brought the man up on assault charges.  And so the man did.

It was around this time that the police arrived – as well as my parents.  My mother rushed towards me.

“God Damn it Sara.  You really did it now.”  My parents are fans of the big G-D, and they use it quite prolifically.  

The officer approached me, gave me a long, cool once over.  He informed me that he would have to breathalyze me – no problem, officer.  Whatever you want to do, officer.

I hauled an embarrassingly large amount of trash out of my car that night, along with various hoodies, a guitar, plans for the new young adult group I was founding for the kids at my church.  Among the things I pulled out – a St. Christopher clip for my visor.  I smiled as I thought about it – I knew St. Christopher was nothing more than a mere hoax.  A false saint.  And yet, I had kept that clip in my car regardless.

It was 7 o’clock when my car hit a tree off the side of Rt. 72 going 50 miles per hour.  I missed the guard rail by 1 and a half feet.  I went between two trees into a wooded area, and hit a ditch - which slowed me down just enough so that when I did hit a tree, it didn’t rip completely through my car and kill me. 

I had not been drinking, nor had I been tired.  I was not under the influence of any sort of drugs.  I had, quite simply, passed out.  The driver’s side door was the only door that opened, my battery was behind my tires.  The engine came clean off the engine block, and they  needed a chainsaw to get my car out of woods – not because they couldn’t reach it with the tow truck, but because they couldn’t pull it out with all of the trees stuck in my under carriage.  

I, somehow and miraculously, walked away without a scratch.  Experts say I should have died, or at the very least have obtained some form of horrific injury.  Doctors puzzled over me, and exposed me to every sort of testing they could think of.  All tests were inconclusive.  The best guess the docs had as to my mysterious passing out was that my blood pressure must have dropped for some reason.  Apparently, it tends to happen to women in their early 20’s.

It shouldn’t happen again.  They cleared me to drive.

It’s been about four years since I blacked out.  So far it hasn’t happened again – knock on wood.  But sometimes I still think about it, and I wonder to myself if it will.

Hopefully I won’t have the bad luck to be driving if it does.  I think bits of my car are still off to the side of the road.  One of these days maybe I’ll go on a scavenger hunt.

Or maybe I’ll just do my best to remember that I?  Could have died.  If any factor was just a bit off, I would have.  I walked away from a horrific accident without a scratch, and I’ll never forget it.

Every day’s a gift.

1 comment:

Sweet Southern Pixie ♥ said...

Omg... I had this happen to me. Only it happened to me three times. I will post my blog I wrote about in a few days. I'm so glad I found someone and I am not alone in not understanding what the Fuck happened the night of my wreck.