My ‘Week from Hell’ concluded with a car accident Saturday afternoon. My sister and I had been driving Northbound towards our parents’ house when the traffic ahead of us slowed down due to construction.While still about four meters from the car ahead of us, I panicked to find that my foot could not push down the brake pedal because the side of my sandal was wedged under it. Every time I tried to lift my foot onto the brake pedal, my sandal lifted the pedal up from the floor instead. We slammed into the Ford Escape in front of us and with horror I saw my car’s hood lift and fold in half with the impact.
Thankfully, no one was hurt.
After my ‘Week from Hell,’ I was in no shape to cope with the crash. My therapist had been nervous to send me home alone the previous day since a bird chirping outside her window had made me jump as if someone had barged into the room with a gun.
The accident occurred directly in front of a fire station so we were able to get the cars into the station’s driveway and out of the busy traffic. My car was totaled but I could steer it into the lane-way; the other car only had some scratches on its bumper. Four firefighters ran out to help us with the necessary paperwork for each party to fill out and brought us bottles of water to drink in the hot sun. The firefighters brought me and my sister inside to their air-conditioned office while we waited for the tow-truck to come and my mom to pick us up. Mom was surprised to find the two of us sitting in La-Z-Boy chairs eating popsicles when she arrived. She thanked the firefighters profusely and took us to the police reporting center.
As I said, it was a miracle that no one was hurt and I am very thankful for that. Since Friday, however, people keep telling me to “look at the bright side” when all I feel like doing is mourning the death of my car. I believe that there is a bright side to what happened, and that good can still come out of this, but I also feel like I have a right to be angry and upset as long as I keep perspective.
For those of you that don’t know me well, I come from a car obsessed family and have had my top three favourite cars picked out from the age of fourteen. I go to the Detroit Auto Show every winter with my dad and this past February we checked out the Custom Car Show full of hot rods and restored gems from decades ago. My dad owns his own business and as a result I’ve been incredibly spoiled to have my car insurance covered through his work. My first car was a white ’99 Chevy Metro that looked like a tooth. I named him Sputnik and I learned to drive standard to enjoy the freedom that came along with having my own car. Sputnik got me through high school and much of my depression merely because he provided me an escape. By the way, I named Sputnik after the Russian Rocket, but upon reading Haruki Murakami‘s Sputnik Sweetheart I learned that the word also means “traveling companion.”
Sputnik died of old age last summer and I was heartbroken. My dad got a great deal on a 2000 Honda Civic that was silver and I named her Laika, after the dog that went up in the first Sputnik. Laika and I had some trouble getting along at first because I missed Sputnik but over time we grew to love each other, though I never referred to her by name in front of other people like I did with Sputnik. Yesterday, before CAA towed Laika away I apologized to her for killing her and I cried. :(
Okay, writing about the affection for my cars is making me feel even worse so I’m stopping the reminiscing now. Obviously, the crash scared me and killed my car, but I can’t afford a new car now and even if I could, my family and I couldn’t afford the spike in insurance coverage due to my crash. My love to drive and freedom of convenient escape are temporarily suspended for a few years as I save money and wait for my insurance coverage to come down in cost. Yes, I am going to be bitter and angry for a bit still but it’s time to look at the positives now too, like what good things will come from having to walk instead of drive.
- Therapy is only
a half an hour50 minutes away from my apartment by foot, even less by bike
- I live in a beautiful part of town that I haven’t explored enough yet since moving here
- Walking is awesome for my mental health and it helps get my creative juices flowing
- Walking forces me to break out of isolation that driving can permit
- Change is good
So, even though this situation sucks my life is going to change in ways it wouldn’t have without this accident. Once my ego has healed from the crash I’ll begin to appreciate how healthy it is for my mind and body to be walking everywhere. I might even save money too if I can no longer hop into the car and whisk off to the bookstore on a whim. You readers are going to reap the benefits of this change most because as I mentioned above, the more exercise I get the more writing ideas percolate in my head.
Cross your fingers for me that my ‘Week from Hell’ is the last of chaos I’ll deal with for at least a little while. I need a breather! I hope your August will be chaos free, too.