Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I drive about half an hour each way to work each day, and though I've had worse commutes time and stress-wise, it's still hard. I try to make my to and froing a time to space out a little, a time when I don't have to do anything because I literally cannot do anything else (though I do try, and God loves a trier. Tryers, too.). So tonight I got comfy in my driver's seat and began my meditation period for the evening, with the twilight sun pouring in orange and gray-blue pulses through my windows.
This is a Public Service Announcement: Drivers, do not take the time when you are operating a motor vehicle to feel the sun on your face, nor should you meditate or space out. As it turns out, the moment I reached my Happy Place coincided exactly with the moment I drove up the interstate on-ramp. The moment I drove up the interstate on-ramp coincided exactly with the moment the turquoise minivan in front of me decided to stop and wait for the cars on the interstate to yield to him. Surprisingly, the cars didn't yield for him and I, glowing with relaxation, didn't notice that I needed to slow down until I was slamming on my brakes. It was one of those moments that makes people really really stare at you: my brakes squealed on the pavement, everything in my car flew forward with a crash, and in a moment of clarity I swerved to the left and must have only missed the turquoise van's bumper by an eighth of an inch. Everyone was staring at me and thinking I was a crappy driver.
Now, I don't know if that would have been my fault or the fault of the van who stopped on an on-ramp, but that's beside the point. We had come so close to a collision, so close to meeting each other and being crunched into each other's acquaintance, I felt like it would be impolite to ignore the people in the van as I passed them. What, then, is the appropriate course of action, the etiquette, if you miss hitting another car by an inch? Do you owe them an apology? If you miss them by more than an inch can you forego the apology?
I didn't know what to do, but I was quickly approaching the van and I felt like I should do something, say something, tell them in sign language that I was sorry for the scare and all that, but then I was afraid they would shoot me the finger or just shoot me, so I slowed down and didn't pass them at all. I let them drive away with my heart still racing from nearly crashing. So instead of spending my evening giving a police statement and exchanging insurance information, I drove home carefully and made Kraft macaroni and cheese for dinner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If they were driving a turquoise minivan, you might have done them a favor had you been a little slower to react. Who knows, they might have bought you a $10 gift card to Target. -Steph