If I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that I will probably be the cause of my own demise.
First of all, I’d like to welcome everyone back. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. A lot has changed, a lot is still the same.
So this past weekend I suckled at the teet of death and it’s bosom of darkness but rest assured, it was completely my fault – and if I had met my end, my unheard, immortal last words would have been, “oh fuck.”
Let’s set the scene.
It’s a Friday afternoon and I’m driving to Washington D.C., after work. Rainy weather, slick streets and a speed limit of 55. The music’s just right and I’m drumming my little heart out on the steering wheel. There’s construction. In fact, there’s been construction for the last several miles and the only thing keeping me from driving my car into oncoming traffic is the cement divider to my left serving as a regulating wall of traffic.
Now I’m a bit on edge because all the water from the rain has pooled to the left of the road and every few feet my car would jerk as the tires skated atop these small oceans just sitting in the passing lane. Not to mention the car in front of me was basically spraying my windshield with the “eat shit” mist that tires naturally kick up and backwards whenever it rains; and let’s not forget the rain itself. Long story short, visibility? Zero.
So basically my windshield wipers were working double time as I navigated this ripe recipe for a statistical likelihood of death.
But none of that can be helped, really. All out of my hands. But as if there weren’t enough factors to make the scenario dangerous, I decide to roll my windows down because I wanted to feel the cool wind and the touch of rain on my fingertips.
And I know normal people would ask themselves, “who rolls their window down when it’s raining?” But listen, I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed.
Anyway, things are going fine and you’d actually be surprised how little water actually comes into the vehicle if you roll your windows down while it’s raining. I guess at highway speed the rain just isn’t interested in what’s going on inside the car. And it’s summer time so the rain brought the temperature down to a beautiful 78 degrees. I love driving and it’s the weekend and I’m road tripping and I’m going to hang out with friends and everything just seems okay, you know?
Let me tell you how fast the world can turn upside down.
On the other side of the road, which seemed like a world away, a truck plows through one of those puddles of rainwater with all the velocity that you’d expect from a vehicle moving at 55 miles per hour. Which typically wouldn’t matter, except for the fact that my window was down.
It all happened in slow motion, a tsunami of road water kicked up with all the force that you’d expect from a prison rape. I click the switch to roll up my automatic windows, but there’s no time. I grab hold of the steering wheel. I close my eyes and accept that this is how death has come for me.
If you’ve ever taken drivers ed, you’ll undoubtedly remember the part of the course where they explain that when you collide with something it’s not just the speed of your own vehicle that is at play, but the speed of the oncoming vehicle as well. So when I tell you that the water probably hit me at 110 mph, I trust that you can imagine why it felt like being punched in the face.
And it wasn’t the pure rainwater that I had formerly craved to feel on my fingertips. No, it was the bastard road water, niggerated with grease, gravel, dirt and despair. It was an ethereal experience. Basically a baptism in fear. I think I was born again in that roadside cleansing.
I gasped for air and opened my eyes to see the beady red eyes of death staring at me through the rain-blurred windshield, laughing, and welcoming my misfortunes an opportunity to embrace me as an old friend.
Only after I had regained my senses did I realize that those red eyes were actually the brake lights of the car in front of me, stopping because they had been sprayed with the same bullshit that had washed all the illusions of a long and prosperous life away.
“Oh fuck,” I whispered. Or screamed? Who cares.
I wonder if brake pedals are designed to be kicked? Even now, I’m not sure how the pedal didn’t snap the hell off due to the aggression that I used to try and manifest an instant stop. My car made a noise that I can only describe as “bro, really?” wiggled it’s ass back and forth like it was in a Lil Jon music video and slid to a stop.
And I think I believe in miracles now because I managed to hit nothing.
Pretty sure I felt the darkness stomp it’s feet and snap it’s fingers, like “damn… almost had him there.”
It was like those Pirates of the Caribbean moments where Jack would say, “you will always remember this as the day that you almost caught.. CAPTAIN… Jack.. Sparr…”
But needless to say, for the rest of the drive the windows were up.