There was, I think, a gold SUV, running a light. The car beside me continued and they looked likely to crash. They both swerved and avoided it; I slammed on my breaks. The driver behind me did as well, but not soon enough, given the rain.
A collision, which seemed mild at the time, only slightly harsher now, in hindsight. A crunch, a head snap, and then sitting. For a moment. For several moments. Giddy, almost. Adrenaline and I thought for a moment that this feels like racing. I laughed a little because it felt good, and then I got out of my car.
A large dent, back-right half smashed in, glass, plastic, strewn. He looked somber, asked if I was ok. I asked if he was. We both were. Waiting, in the rain. Cold and damp and I hadn't brought a coat because I was just going to the gym, to my treadmill. The officer arrives in minutes and things get sorted. I am oddly giddy, jittery, and this all feels fun, dramatic, interesting. People look as they drive by as I have done many times.
The treadmill still happens, and then a little more, outside. Nervous energy to burn. Fight or flight and I prefer the latter. As the energy wanes and I come back to myself I am grateful, happy still, to be doing this, to be moving and to be able to move, to be fine, really, aside from a headache that I imagine coffee will largely alleviate. I think about a friend who very nearly died, several years ago, in a very similar incident.
The morning now and even post-coffee a mild headache persists, which is to be expected, but the coffee was very good nonetheless. I am thinking that I am certainly not racing this weekend, and that, probably, I will instead watch a great deal of football, watch people sustain impacts more severe than mine, several times over, to the delight of millions. I am thinking that there is an element of hypocrisy there and perhaps a tinge of barbarism as well but that I don't care to expand on those thoughts.
Things, though, are good. A brush with something that could have had a very much not good conclusion illuminates this more than usual. Also, wear your seatbelt, kids.