I got in an accident at 10:20ish today. I am sitting in my school's library right now. I'm having difficulty focusing on any one thing, other than the accident, so I'm not attending classes. I probably should, especially since my philosophy class only meets once a week.
How oddly fragile cars are, how oddly fragile this computer is, and how scarily fragile our own bodies must be.
I woke up this morning with only seven hours of sleep, which, I know, isn't really all that bad, but I've been sluggish all day. I woke up early so I could get to my school two hours early and practice, but was frustrated with how poorly I was playing since, like all dexterity-demanding arts, fatigue makes all your technique fall to pieces.
I had parked this morning in a residential area near my school (with a one-hour parking limit) because I'm too lazy/broke to get a parking permit, and because I typically bike to my college anyway. Having finished practicing, I went back to my car and started driving around to find a parking spot. Having found one I wanted (but also having passed it), I went to drive around my school to make a second pass by the spot I wanted.
I was in the left lane, which turned into the middle lane for a few feet to allow people to turn left into the school. There was a big truck or SUV or something trying to do just that, which obscured my vision. Coming from the other direction, though I didn't know it, was a small blue car, also wanting to make a left. Obscured by the same big truck or SUV or something, she didn't notice me and pulled out in front of me to make a left turn.
I noticed the blue car, hit the brake, and hit the blue car.
My car is scratched and the covering around the left headlight broken. The light works, the car works, my car is absolutely fine. Her car is missing its grill, the bumper was dragging along the ground, hanging onto the car like a loose tooth. Her car still works, though it certainly doesn't look like it.
It was so quick, so sudden, and I get really tense just looking at moving cars. I wasn't going that fast, she wasn't going that fast, but I crushed the front of her car just the same.
I feel really embarrassed and ashamed that I hit someone, but logically I know there wasn't anything I could've done. I didn't see her and she didn't see me.
I contemplated going to class, just like I'm contemplating it now (oh look, choir starts in 14 minutes as I'm writing this), but in the end I drove to my mom's workplace, ashamed that I'd damaged her car, ashamed that I'd gotten in an accident, and ashamed that I'd done so much damage to someone else's car. I left an unreasonable distance between me and the guy in front of me, drove intensely slow, and was on edge the entire time, fighting back tears of shame.
I've lost my haven't-gotten-in-an-accident virginity, just like I lost my haven't-gotten-a-ticket virginity last year. I'm a good driver. The ticket was me learning the hard way that regular yellow lights and left-turn yellow lights don't turn red at the same time; the left-turn arrow turns red first.
This accident is a part of my personal history. It's part of the story of my life now, no matter how much I wish it wasn't.
Look at all the cars out there. Look at your computer monitor. Look at that 8-year-old riding his bike in the street. Look at your house. They all break so suddenly, so instantly, and with such frightening finality.
I don't want to talk to people, I don't want to socialize, I don't want people to know, regardless of how minor a collision this was, that I was in an accident. Why am I even writing this, then, knowing that so many people will read it?
I'm writing it more for myself, really.
I'm on the second floor of my school's library, but as I look outside, imagining the whole building collapsing with me in it is a lot easier to do. So sudden, so instantaneous, and so final.
Yes, I'm sure you can tell I'm a little shaken up. I'm physically fine. The car works just fine. Mom even says she probably won't even bother repairing it because the damage is so negligible... but I feel very mortal and I don't want to drive ever again.
Choir started twenty minutes ago.