No, please don't. It's very upsetting. Jarring, even. For a girl who knows how to take a hit, I didn't like being in a car accident. Everything's fine, don't let your mind start racing just yet. Well, not everything--a friend's car took a beating. But our bodies are fine, which is the most important thing. A little sore. A little more aware of our fragility. And neck muscles. You know for a wreck that was really only a step above a fender bender, it felt like a ten car pile-up. I shudder at the thought of flipping down an embankment, rolling, the list goes on. It would be so noisy. So out of control. This is probably very morbid, but occasionally I thought about what it would be like to be in a car crash. When it actually did happen, that terrible crunching, smashing, squealing noise became a reality, I had a moment of disbelief--I'm in a car crash something hit us it's actually happening! But then, luckily, my killer instincts kicked in and my internal chatter disappeared, so all I had was action. I covered my head and stayed that way until the car stopped. Lindsay started talking right away, baby are you ok baby are you ok to Ethan because he hit his head. I'm noting that my own head doesn't hurt. Not tired, not nauseous. Vision. Check. No concussions. Everyone's ok. Get out of the car, have to get out. Now I call the police. We just had a car accident. Are there injuries? No, shaking shaking shaking but everyone's ok. Call Erin. Go home.
I'm always astonished at my ability to function in emergencies. I doubt myself constantly when I am not in the moment itself, but remarkably, I stay very calm when things do go horribly wrong. Fires, crashes, robberies, I got it. I think it's partly because I don't realize the gravity of the situation while I'm in it, so I'm not instantly overwhelmed by emotion. I'm not that bright. I'm generally pretty singularly focused on the present--let us use this car crash as exhibit A: I know the car is out of control so I cover my head. Good. Now. I know car crashes can cause head injuries. I think of all the symptoms of concussions and do a mental check. Good. Now. I know you are supposed to call the police so they can file a report, you'll need it for your insurance. Good. Now. I know I need to go home. I call Erin. I get home. Are you ok? she says. Yes but I'm a little shook up. That was scary. But I'm fine. Good. Now. Call Michael. He asks what happened, I tell him, still good. But then, it could've been so much worse--this is from him. Not everybody walks away from accidents. Oh. Yeah I guess we got lucky actually, we were inches from a--cue tears--pooollllleeee.
Bear with me while I psycho-analyze myself. I'm on a budget, I can't actually afford a therapist. Anyway. Generally, it's only after I'm away from danger that I fall to pieces. Why? Not sure. All I know is I'm great in emergencies, and I suspect that it's partly because I'm not great at putting all the pieces together while I'm in the moment. Which also makes me think that's probably why I write so much about things that have happened to me, because it's the only way I can process. This is how I like to put the pieces together.
And here are the pieces, all put together, for this particular situation: with great power comes great responsibility--cars are big and Newton knew what he was talking about when it comes to equal and greater forces. I can't take a second of this delicate life for granted, because it is not a guarantee. And when push comes to shove, trust your instincts.