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(Lack of) Perspective

Or Jessica and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. That would be Thursday, the day of Brandeis Elementary’s PTA Walk-a-Thon fundraiser.

I was in charge of coordinating volunteers and figured from the start it would be a long day. It was made a longer day owing to Matt’s being out of town and my needing to call the plumber and vet before I left home. I was sufficiently busy that at 8:30, I grabbed my tea and a Cliff Bar and headed out of the house.  I knew I didn’t have any lunch to take with me; I would soon realize I had left my cell behind on its charger as well.

Seven hours later, I was a little hoarse and sunburned and a lot tired and hungry. When Simon wanted to stay after school and play, I almost said no. But it was the beginning of fall break and Matt was out of town, so why not let him have a bit of fun?

I called time at 4:45, eager for nothing more than to get home, get fed, and get on the couch. About fifteen minutes later, I would discover that staying late and taking Broadway home was a very bad idea, because at around 5:00 p.m. I saw or heard or felt—I’m not sure which—a flash out of the corner of my eye as a silver SUV came speeding into my lane, crashed into me, pushed me into a car in the lane to my right, and then sped away and managed to turn right on 8th St. before anyone could get the plate number.

My Corolla had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, too.

Here were my immediate thoughts, in order:

“Oh my God, I’ve been hit.”

“Is Simon OK?”

“There goes getting dinner and sitting down anytime soon.”

“I don’t want to have to buy a new car.”

These thoughts soon got pushed out of my head by a flurry of post-accident activity. There were police reports to be given, witness reports to overhear, lots of information to exchange with witnesses and the driver of the car I was pushed into, and then the biggest one of all: figuring out how I was going to get home with no car, no cell, and with Matt out of town.

As beginnings to vacations go, standing at the corner of Broadway and 8th while using a borrowed phone to call any number I could remember to get a ride home ranks low in terms of auspiciousness.

Thankfully, I got lucky on the fourth call when my brother Steve picked up. And he certainly got an unexpected answer to the ole’ “Hey, what’s up?” greeting. “Oh, you know, not much. Just hanging with Simon at 8th and Broadway and staring at my totaled car. Can you come pick us up and drive us home?”

Now here’s where perspective comes in. We were lucky to not be seriously hurt. Simon was scared and his chest hurt at first, but within 30 minutes all was well physically and emotionally with him. My neck and shoulders hurt, but I’m optimistic that some PT can get me back to what’s normal for me.

We were lucky that no one else was hurt. I know people who, through no fault of their own, have been in vehicles that injured or even killed another person. Their guilt is crushing, and they suffer from depression and anxiety. I’m grateful that the woman in the third car suffered no injury herself and that her car sustained only minor damage.

We were lucky to have witnesses.  A woman driving behind me immediately stopped her car, checked in on me, called the police, and gave a police report. A second witness, this one a pedestrian, also stuck around for the hour or so it took for the police to arrive and take all the necessary statements.

That’s a lot of luck. It should bring about a fair bit of perspective.

But what about the bad luck? I drove a totally reliable 2000 Toyota Corolla. Its blue book value is very small, as will be my reimbursement. But I can’t replace it for blue book value. Nope. I’m going to be out at least $10-$12K shopping for a new car.

And the guy that hit me? The one who fled the scene because he was uninsured, under the influence, in possession of drugs in his vehicle, or evading an arrest warrant. Does he get a (literal) get out of jail free card on this one? Where’s the justice for him?

Honestly, I’m struggling to stay focused on the bright side. Which isn’t to say that I’m wallowing in misfortune, just that I’m more focused on moving past the unpleasantness than being grateful events were merely miserable and not tragic.

As for the driver, I will revert to the Yiddish, a handy language when a curse is in order. Google it. And stay clear of Broadway if you can avoid it.

“Ale tseyn zoln dir aroysfaln, nor eyner zol dir blaybn af tsonveytik.”



One Response to “(Lack of) Perspective”

  1. blg says:

    Good curse.

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