It’s been a long day

dance-car-traffic

I-95 N.

Leaving work early.

Traffic has slowed to crawl at the notorious rush hour bottleneck at Exit 8 in Stamford, 10 minutes from home. There’s a towering billboard overhead shouting: Think Train. (Or something like it. Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story.)

My Speed: < 5 mph and slowing. Red tail lights flashing and aglow in all directions on six lanes.

There was unusual calm in this moment on the asphalt.

And then ––

There’s the unmistakeable crush of metal on metal…

I snap my head up to see an oncoming car bearing down on me in the rear view mirror.

Everything moves in hyper slow motion now…

I brace for impact.

And while doing so, I reach for and clutch my smartphone. (Isn’t that what they say? When you fear for your life, you grab that which is dearest to you. I’m sure of it now, there IS something very troubled about you. )

Dominos fall.

First car slams into the Subaru which slams into me.  A 3-car pile-up, with rubberneckers on high alert and traffic snarling.

I dial 911. The State Trooper arrives, with his siren blaring, red lights flashing, and the traffic spreading to make way as he knifes through the gridlock.

He approaches each driver one after the other: “Are you hurt?”

He goes back and takes statements and collects licenses, insurance and proof of registration.

The Subaru driver is profusely apologetic. I pull up to separate my car from hers and get out to assess the damage.  My SUV is 1000 pounds heavier and has sustained bumper and tailgate damage – let’s say $2,500 minimum.  Hers, a few surface scratches, $500 tops. The irony isn’t lost on me, or her, as she grins and shares: “I did ok, I guess, all things considered.”

We catch up on the length of our commute, our jobs, our dogs (sigh) and our plans for Thanksgiving.

The Trooper finishes his paperwork, gets out of his car and hands us the report.

Responsible Driver: No driver’s license. No insurance. A badly damaged car that needs a tow, with a tow truck driver refusing to tow him 60 miles home to Brooklyn. And, a wife (?) in the passenger seat who appears to be in shock. It has been a very long day for this couple, and getting longer.

I’m back on I-95 and tallying up future invoices.

My State Farm Insurance deductible: $1,000

The rental car cost while the car is being repaired: $65/day (Due to your waiver of rental car coverage. Who needs that, right?)

Cost to live another day to tell about it?

Priceless.

 


Notes:

Comments

  1. Glad everyone is safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh! So glad you’re okay, David. (PS: LOVE my Subaru.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s always a big shock when something like that happens. Glad everyone is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have had your share of excitement the last week or so, haven’t you? At least you get to keep telling stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you, and your phone, are OK. Had to be tough just sitting there waiting to be hit…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Whew! You sound so calm relating how events evolved. So glad all that is well and you have a great post that so many can relate to. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad you’re OK Dave. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Daysinthefifties says:

    good writing. you should do it more often.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So glad no one got hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kevin Byrnes says:

    Truly priceless, Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your final word puts everything once again in perspective. Glad everyone is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Olga Kanigan says:

    Glad you are ok Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Okay, Im glad no one was hurt, but you know I have to interpret every situation. I question everything! About 4 years years ago I backed into a parked car as I was reversing, I didn’t see the car at all. No one was in the parked car fortunately, it was embarrasing and annoying, because of the cost and inconvenience etc. But sitting with it and thinking about that situation, I questioned myself and asked, “what is happening in my life that I was not seeing?” The accident woke me up to ask this, and I actually worked it out at the time. When the accident happens behind us, it can mean the past and letting go of old beliefs and thoughts.

    You saw your car coming and had no control over the accident. So your question might be, “Where do I feel out of control in my life and why?” How can I create more connection and structure so I am in sync with my life? Interesting anyway 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I SO love your insight. You have made me stop and think. Thank you for taking the time to share. This will stick…it will Karen.

      “When the accident happens behind us, it can mean the past and letting go of old beliefs and thoughts.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hate backing up. I suck at it. Its horrible. You can think you are being careful, and then there is the guy going 20 MPH in a parking lot. Or the one creeping along that you think has finally passed you, but what he has done is STOP IN YOUR BLIND SPOT. When I go to park, I look for ways that I won’t have to back up.
      I was with the X Mrs Bulletholes one afternoon. She wanted to stop at a convenience store and get a drink.
      I pulled in and parked at the pump. Turned the car off .
      “Are you getting gas?” she asks.
      “No”
      “You know I’m going in, right?” she says.
      “Yeah” I say, nonchalantly.
      “Well why don’t you park in front?”
      “Oh no. No way. Much too dangerous”
      Her hands went up, like she is bench pressing the air, she has the most exasperated look on her face I ever seen (and I seen it plenty) and all she can say is “UGH”.
      So I did the right thing and went in for her.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. So glad to read you were not injured 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That photo is dazzling! It took me a moment to see how it related to the story. Because the photo is a work of art, I assumed story was fiction. Still not sure it really happened. Fiction or nonfiction, the writing is artful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you John. I appreciate the kind words. Yes, the story was true – – well my truth as I remember it.

      As to the photo, I tripped into the photo as I was flipping through my reader and I was stunned by this shot and the photographer’s other works. I saw him capturing the dancer seemingly at peace amidst snarling traffic – I loved it so much, I had to put it up, leaving the interpretation to the reader.

      Like

  16. Yes, Priceless, life spared.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s it Perpetua. Your comment reminds me of:

      When you surrender, the problem ceases to exist. Try to solve it, or conquer it, and you only set up more resistance. I am very certain now that, as I said therein, if I truly become what I wish to be, the burden will fall away. The most difficult thing to admit, and to realize with one’s whole being, is that you alone control nothing.

      — Henry Miller, A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953. (Mariner Books,1989) Originally published 1945.

      Like

  17. Glad you’re ok and we get yet another superbly written piece from this (we’re the winners here!). Sadly odds are on that this is going to happen every so often, and you just have to hope when it does no one gets hurt. The other pain in the arse bits will sort themselves out.

    Too bad the miscreant had no insurance: how big is the penalty for that in the US?

    Stay safe mister.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh wow…truly stunning and alters the reality for however long. I’m so relieved that all are ok….

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Relieved that everyone walked away from this one, pal, and chuckling that you grabbed your cell phone. Also fascinated by Karen’s take on the incident…hokey as it sounds, I really do think everything happens for a reason. Stay safe (and take the train!)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. P.S. I, too, am fascinated by that photo…I can’t stop looking at it. The young woman seems to have this dome of silence around her. Absolutely intriguing….

    Liked by 1 person

  21. yes, a quick snap back to perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. So glad it was just the cars that got damaged. I hope the repairs go smoothly, and quickly.
    Strange that you were in another potentially life-threatening situation. Looks like someone is trying to get you to think about the big questions. Or maybe they just think you should move back to the country. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sarah. You paused me in my tracks and have me deep in contemplation.

      Like

      • I don’t know if this post – http://aleteia.org/2016/11/17/bishop-barron-a-pilgrim-a-bishop-and-his-iphone/ – will interest you but I thought about you and your phone when I read it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Loved it! Thanks so much for sharing Sarah. Especially loved the close. Yes, you are spot on. It’s me.

          “I would invite you to stay with that image for a moment. We see a man with no wealth, no power, no influence in society, no fame to speak of, practically no physical possessions—but clinging with all of his might and with fierce protectiveness to two things whose sole purpose is to feed his soul. Here’s my question for you: What would you cling to in such a way? What precisely is it, the loss of which would produce in you a kind of panic? What would make you cry, once you realized that you no longer had it? And to make the questions more pointed, let’s assume that you were on a desert island or that you, like the Russian pilgrim, had no resources to go out and buy a replacement. Would it be your car? Your home? Your golf clubs? Your computer? To be honest, I think for me it might be my iPhone. If suddenly I lost my ability to make a call, my contacts, my music, my GPS, my maps, my email, etc., I would panic—and I would probably cry for sheer joy once I had the phone back, and my fingers would close around it like a claw. What makes this confession more than a little troubling is that, ten years ago, I didn’t even own a cell phone. I lived my life perfectly well without it, and if you had told me then that I would never have one, it wouldn’t have bothered me a bit.”

          ~ Bishop Robert Barron, excerpt from Bishop Barron: A pilgrim, a bishop, and his iPhone.

          Liked by 1 person

  23. Know the feeling.. had my brand new SUV hit from behind, less than a week after I bought it. Same traffic conditions. Driver had Suspended driver license. Glad you are ok!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank goodness everyone is alright. Cars can be fixed or replaced but lives lost will never be replaced. Count your blessings and with this sad story you still made me smile. Your phone? You grabbed your phone? :o)))))

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I ‘liked’ but you know what I mean. Sorry to hear about the rear-ender…and glad you escaped safely, if a few dollars poorer…(had to check that: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/197661/poorer-vs-more-poor) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. […] Thank you, David for your response in It’s been a long day. […]

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