My car and I got all smooshy smooshed last night. I was just minding my own bidness when an SUV jumped the median to my left and slammed into my driver’s-side door, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision. I could have easily gone through life without needing to know what an airbag feels like as it pummels your face, but I guess I’m lucky to have had the experience, if that’s how you wanna look at it.
After the guy hit me, my car was forced off into a nearby snowbank, and so it took me a while to get my berrings. A witness came up and asked if I was alright, and then for some reason I started to gather all the CDs that were now scattered about my car. Eventually, the driver of the other car came over. He was a younger man of undeterminable Eastern origin, and this is how that particular conversation went:
Him: Oh man, it’s slippery out there.
My Thoughts: I think I’m okay from what I can tell, thanks for asking.
Me Out Loud: Uh, yeah, I guess. You okay?
Him: I saw the red break lights in front of me and so I swerved to not hit them.
My Thoughts: You swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid rear-ending someone? Brilliant.
Me Out Loud: Oh.
Him: It’s not even my car.
My Thoughts: Well this used to be my car, but I guess we should be more worried about you right now.
Me Out Loud: Oh. That sucks.
* long pause *
Him: So… do you know the laws around here?
My Thoughts: Here we go…
Me Out Loud: Ye…
Him, Cutting Me Off: Because I don’t really have a license to drive.
My Thoughts: Oh Jebus.
Me Out Loud: But you got insurance right?
Him: Oh yes, I think she does.
* he looks over my car *
Him: Man, you lucky to be alive.
My Thoughts: If you don’t shut up and get out of my sight you’re going to be lucky to be alive.
Me Out Loud: I’m going to get out of the street and wait for the cops now.
In my limited experience, cops are generally not very amiable. It was ten below and I was freezing, and I asked if we could sit in a squad car while they wrote out the report. He just stared at me, without replying, grimmacing just enough for me to notice. Then a more civilized civil servant came over and said I could sit in the back of his squad car, usually reserved for handcuffed criminals, except the second I got in there on those hard plastic seats and with the glass divider pane right up against my face, I got super claustrophobic and I made him let me out again. I probably wasn’t making any new dan fans in law enforcement.
Somehow the driver’s side mirror ended up on the passenger seat floor, without smashing my face on its way over, so I was glad about that. I got a few small cuts on my hands from when the window exploded, and I can still feel where that airbag hit my face this morning, but I got no exciting bruises to show for it.
This airbag and I have a complicated love/hate relationship right now.
Now comes the worst part: dealing with the insurance agencies and trying to figure out how I’m going to get around for the next couple weeks.
Yay for Minnesota Winters!