In case I forget.

Driveway Moment
August 27, 2006, 12:10 am
Filed under: Brain Bits, Mental Health, Miata

I got home from work Friday and pulled into the garage. I killed the engine, but stayed sitting in the car, listening to the end of a story on NPR. After the story, I took out my keys and sat for another moment. I was very relaxed, and glad for the weekend.

I was thinking about the accident, as I often do when I’m driving. Not obsessing on it, but it’s always a little stream of thought in the back of my head on some level. Especially at intersections. Ha.

So sitting there in my Miata, I thought about my many broken bones. I found myself pressing my legs out, toward the edges of the foot-well. Where they touched the car, on each side, is exactly where they were hurt in the wreck. I leaned a little to the left and felt how my shoulder had been broken and torn. I looked down at my hand resting on the middle console, my fingers lightly curved around the shifter boot. Where it normally rests when I’m driving. I imagined how the impact of the stick shift had snapped my wrist and crushed my hand so it folded in on itself, like a book. I felt the door against my side and could see how my hip broke there. Then I leaned a little more to the left, and felt the exact place where my head hit the frame of the rag-top

There is this hinge up there. It has two attachment points. The rear one is perfectly situated to slap into your skull on your left temple if you get hit so hard your car is shoved across four lanes of traffic while executing a 135 degree spin, all with a pickup truck turned over on top of it.

So I guess the moral of this story is that it’s true what they’ve said all along. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. The accident was on a humid day, and that’s why I had the lid closed. If it had just been hot, I would have dropped it and tried out my brand new sunglasses. It was overcast, so I would have dropped it. So it’s the humidity that truly screwed me up. Without the brain injury, I’d be fine today, two years later.

Or…with nothing for my head to impact, maybe my head would have snapped back from the impact so violently it would have broken my neck. Or…if I had dropped the lid, maybe I would have heard the truck coming and been able to get out of the way. Or…if I had dropped the lid I would have without question had a wider field of vision, been able to see him out of the corner of my eye, and gotten out of the way.

I HATE multiple choice questions.


2 Comments so far
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In situations like this (like all situations in life perhaps) you can’t have all the answers for all the multiple questions. Don’t be down on how it turned out — the real answer to all your “what-ifs” could be that it could have been much worse, not better than you think.

It would be interesting to know what NPR story you were listening to in the car before having these thoughts you mention in this post. What was the theme or subject or title of the show?

Comment by flic

Welcome back Flic. I was listening to Kai Ryssdal on Marketplace. It was a story about panning for gold the easy way – from a cruise ship – in Alaska and it made me think about the folks I met in Canada who were the real thing – they lived on and from the rivers there. And honest to God, they all carried around little felt bags of gold, or had little pans and bottles of it sitting around. A different world.

Comment by incaseiforget

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