My first accident (or, a story from Lori)
I will be 60 in January, and have managed to steer clear of road rage and fender benders and highway hoopla. I was coming home from a simple errand, turning right at the light like I’ve done for 22 years, and just a bit after I turned, close to home, wanting to be home, someone plowed into my front fender. No injuries. I have no cell phone, we didn’t call the police and our vehicles were drive-able so we really didn’t *have* to (the police might have diagrammed it for the insurance companies, far easier than I could. If ever there’s a next time I’m calling them).
There, I feel better telling the story. It helps to lay the tangled threads of the story straight out in words. I always feel a bit better after writing it, so I thank you for listening. Everyone has been very kind, through the entire ordeal (i can’t imagine filling out all these forms if I had been injured. It’s a pain in the ass able-bodied, but if I had a splitting headache there’s no way I could do it).
I was worried the other driver, the ‘collider’, lol, would try to pin something on me. I waited at the light and was going straight. I couldn’t have been more correct. I was not in his lane, I was hugging my side of the curb. But still, there’s some archaic need to defend my “rightness” which burst when my husband said, “You didn’t do anything wrong.” I began to cry, and neither one of us knew why. He was trying to comfort me but I felt like the seven year old, blamed for things not her fault, without the self worth to even try defending herself. Oh, I was raped at seven, by the teenage brother of the boys I hung out with. I didn’t tell until I was in my 20’s, but really there was no one to tell. My mother was passed out drunk and no one came looking for me, and when I finally managed to sneak out of the boy’s house when their mother dozed off, it was after 11:00 pm. I might have died, was my thought, and no one would even know.
So I have an old, “Surely there was something you might have done to avoid this” pattern, not often activated but as highly observant as I am, I didn’t see the guy coming before he hit me. I asked him more than once to show me where he was coming from, wanting to understand it, but he made no sense (something not quite up to speed, a very lovely man, couldn’t find any papers, didn’t know how to proceed (I didn’t either). I had him write his name and address and it took forever, bless his heart. “My husband will be home soon and he will know what I need from you, so I will call you” (I got his insurance company, but not his license plate. It’s kinda funny now, being so clueless together, but I was pretty rattled. Mostly because of the surprise of impact. Seeing it coming, I might have prepared for it better (as in, everyone knew my mother was dying but I was spared, sweet little girl will be sad. Yikes, I’m digging in all the old drawers here).
My favorite part of the story is this: Kevin, the appraiser who inspected my car, used to be a mechanic. I asked him how he came to change professions and he told me about his cancer, and how he came to work for the insurance company. I’m guessing he doesn’t tell his story to every client who comes down the pike. It was a beautiful human exchange. I just kept asking questions and he just kept filling in details. It was lovely. I’m glad I asked.
So my car is in the shop and the insurance companies are doing their money thing and we don’t have a rental clause in our insurance coverage so I’m w/o wheels and a few days before I was hit our son was hit in roughly that same dunkin donuts spot and I would walk to dunkin donuts if I really needed something from there because it spooks me now but I make my own coffee.
Oh, it’s fun to just tell a story! Thanks for indulging me. My husband has gone to New Hampshire to enjoy the mountains and I am here with Maxie the rabbit (we have rabbits because of Scott, the boy who wanted only a rabbit for his 9th birthday, but has never cleaned a litter box and he’ll be 26 soon…), because she’s kinda high maintenance. Doug was on the fence about leaving, as he has the functioning vehicle, but I told him he should go, not much happening here. But then, keys in hand, hand on the door knob he says, “Last chance.” (ur, for what? Winning the lottery? Shopping for back to school supplies?) I felt like he was throwing the decision in my lap and said, “I will most certainly NOT tell you you shouldn’t go.” There was backing and forthing and in the end, he left, and I didn’t begrudge his leaving. Truth is, I don’t need to go away. Everything I enjoy is right here at home. Go and have fun. Chances are I’ll be sitting right here when you get back. lolol.