Some days are harder than others. November 19th I was on my way to Starbucks after work to write a stunningly snarky article for Misfit Politics. Tuesdays are church days so I usually do my writing in between work and service. This routine works well for me on Wednesdays (choir rehearsal) as well. But November 19th I didn’t make it to Starbucks. I almost made it. I was less than 1/2 mile from my destination. No one warned me how stream-of-consciousness things get.

So close.

Traffic stops.

I stop.

Wait.

Look in my review mirror. Just enough time to barely utter “Jesus!” in a one word prayer of help.

Muffled crunch.

Things go blank for a moment.

Did I hit my head? Where are my glasses? What happened to my phone? Why is my CD player console sitting in the passenger seat? Park. Park! Throw the car into park. Let off the brake. Let go of the steering wheel. No hold onto it. No let it go. Look. Look for my glasses. Where are they? Where did the go? I can’t see. I can think. What happened? Where are my glasses? WHERE ARE THEY? Man. Man standing at my passenger door. “It’s unlocked.” He opens the door. “I can’t find my glasses. I can’t see. I can’t think. I need them to think.” He asks if I’m ok. I don’t know. I don’t know anything until I can see. He finds my glasses and phone in the back seat. How’d they get there? It doesn’t matter. They’re not broken and I can see. My brain was focused on social media so all I can think to do is make one post. I’ve been hit by a car. Post. My notifications explode. Everyone is concerned.

No one comes to help me. I’m alone. Everyone wants to know if I’m ok. Some speculate if I’m posting to social media I must be fine. I’m not. I’m scared. My head starts to hurt. My shoulder is screaming. My neck is sore. Phone calls. What do I do? Call parents. Call insurance. Call call call call call call call. I think I need that ambulance.

I’m tough. That may be my biggest fault. I didn’t let them see how hurt I was. I wouldn’t tell them.

Minor head injury. No no no, your shoulder will be fine in a couple days. Pain. Pain. Pain. Can’t sleep. Tired. Insurance calls all morning. For three days. The car is totaled. The frame was buckled.

It buckled all the way up under the back seat.

Texts. Facebook posts. Questions. Are you ok? Are you alright? You must be fine. At least you made it out alive. You walked away so you’ll be fine. You’re tough. You’ve been through worse. You’ll be fine. It could have been worse. It could have been worse. It could have been worse. But I’m alone. I’m scared. No one to help me. My shoulder hurts. Out of pain meds. Go back to work. The pain. I could just cry.

The pain. Be tough. Keep going. Awake at 3:00 a.m. Awake at 6:00 a.m. Can’t crawl out of bed at 7:00 a.m. So exhausted. Leave me alone! Someone please come hold me and be tough for me. Please? Please?

Silence echos. No one comes. I’m too tough. The words won’t vocalize. I need someone. No one. Anyone. Nothing. Physical therapy. I’m tough. Set back. Can’t pick my arm up. Shooting pain. Pain. Pain. Out of pain meds. Can’t get more. Pain. More PT. Getting better.

Drive past the accident site. It looks so normal. Flinch every time a car pulls up behind me. But it looks so normal. Flinch. Silent prayer. Jesus please don’t let them hit me. Please. Please. Flinch. Silent prayer. Keep driving. Work. PT. Church. Back to choir rehearsal. Flinch. Flinch. Pray. But the road looks like it always did. Like it did before. Before crash, crunch. Before blank. I’m tough. I’m tough. I’m tough…

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