Saturday, July 23, 2005

Delayed Reactions

One of the worst things to see is a car accident on the highway. I don’t mean passing by one that’s already happened and been processed, but one that’s unfolding before your eyes. I’d already seen a horrible one on I-95 many years ago when I was returning from a stripper shift.

A car was driving like a lunatic and then up ahead I saw it sliding sideways back and forth across the three lanes. We all slammed on our brakes. As I slowed down and held the center lane I saw the sports car flipping and rolling along the median and then I saw a man fall or drop or jump from the passenger window. I remember it all happened in such slow motion.

Tonight, driving home from Connecticut on the Merritt Parkway there was a red mid-size car tailing people with only like inches to spare. The next thing I know, he’s passing a Volvo station wagon on the right and then deliberately steering into the car, hitting it and causing it to swerve out of control and hit the median.

I stopped the car and ran out to the Volvo; the red car took off. The young woman stepped out of her car totally fine and already calling people on her cell phone. We waited with her until the cops came and I told them what I saw. Unfortunately, no one got the license plate number.

It was a scary scene—the whole front end of her car smushed in. She was so lucky to be uninjured. I was just talking to her and making sure she stayed calm. When we were leaving she was finally starting to cry.

I can’t imagine what would have happened if it had been our minivan that this crazy person decided to tail and smash. Genny was secured in her car seat, but still, you never know.

So, Genny went to bed late tonight. And I’ve got a bag of ice on my swollen toe—I think running over to the accident exacerbated it.

I feel very hazy and spacey, like I’ve just seen a dream and I’m trying to remember it so I can analyze it or share it with friends. It’s all cloudy in my mind and I see the screeching tires and the flying smoke, but I don’t hear any sounds at all. It’s very quiet and still, like being underwater.


  1. dear ms sheila
    it is interesting to read about your experiences as a mom. i too feel something like that when i brought up my sons. i have two sons they are grown up now 23 and 19.

  2. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Help me Dude, I think I'm lost.

    I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket.

    No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

    He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new lcd tv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

    But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a lcd tv .

    Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger.

    Then I'm gonna go round and see Michael Jackson and we're gonna watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on the lcdtv in the back of my Hummer.

    And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

    "You give me love and consolation,
    You give me strength to carry on "

    Strange day or what? :-)