Please note that this is quite a long post. I won’t be offended if you skip this one.
Physically, I’m fine but mentally, I feel like I’m once again at a breaking point. It will certainly be a while until I’m truly comfortable driving again…
Yesterday was supposed to be a day of fun, a day which I head into the forest once again to seek solitude, a little time to myself, and to enjoy nature but it looked like someone had another agenda for me.
This week has been a series of unfortunate events with the biggest one of them all on Thursday.
My aunt called. I have to retake her passport photos because the other ones were no good. I would like to mention that I’m not a portrait photographer. I am a landscape photographer. I don’t do people photography and that includes passport photos. I don’t know the requirement for Chinese passport photos other than I know it’s not the same as U.S. passport photos and the person in the passport must have flawless appearance.
I was still dealing with issues at work, issues I cannot solve and have to depend on a bunch of nerds and geeks from Sri Lanka. So I was in no mood to deal with family issues.
And with another payroll period come to pass, I checked the accrual for my vacation hours and notice I was due to take another day off. I figure, why not Thursday. Mom will be at the office and I can go out by myself.
It was the day of the week to head into the office. I had just turned right, entering the alley leading to the parking garage when I saw a car speeding toward me. Intuitively, I steered my car toward the right. That street is narrow, barely has room for one car.
It turned out that speeding car was entering the same parking garage I was going to enter.
Um, excuse me, I wanted to shout. A turn signal would be nice.
As I steered the car toward the parking garage, I heard a loud grinding noise from the front right wheel. “Oh shit!” I cursed. The rim of the wheel had scraped against the curb.
Damn it! Who drives this fast in an alley way?
Thankfully, unless you look really close, it wasn’t that noticeable.
The day started out with mom forgetting to bring my parking pass with her to work, calling me for help to get in the parking garage and I wasn’t going to divulge I was taking the day off with the whole day planned out.
I was going to head out early so I would get home before mom so she wouldn’t suspect a thing. I didn’t tell her where I was going because I knew she would give me a lecture about wasting gas and risking my life, and all that BS.
I am nearly 31-years-old. Am I still not old enough to be adult without a leash?
She called me again while I was on the road, telling me her own parking pass doesn’t work, and asking me what to do. In my mind, I thought, shouldn’t she figure it out herself? I oftentimes wish the family would just think for themselves instead of coming to me with every one of their pesky little problems. Who can I turn to about my problems? NO ONE!
After the call, I exited onto a 2-lane highway. I’ve driven on this highway a few times but never had I encountered so many semi-trucks. Suddenly, I was aware of a semi-truck creeping into my lane. I did the sensible thing to brake while creeping toward the left side of the road, onto an island (safety zone) that divided the highway.
The next thing I knew, there was a long grinding sound coming from the right side of my car. The mirror hung lopsided as the trailer of a semi scraped alongside the right side of my car.
STOP! I wanted to scream.
Meanwhile, my foot was still on the brake while I sat frozen for a second – like a deer in the headlight. Slowly I pulled over to the right shoulder and assessed the damage, by which the truck was long gone.
f*** f*** f***!
Mom did found out later. She was home super early because she didn’t want to pay for parking, and was furious. She kept calling me as I was driving home and let out these micro-burst-like lectures before hanging up. Why didn’t you call the police? Why didn’t you pay attention to the driver? Why didn’t you take down the license plate number? Why didn’t you…
Again, deer in the headlight. Everything I learned throughout my life, gone, flown out the window when I saw the right mirror dangling. And I did something even more idiotic. I continued on my trip even though I was in no mood to do so. My heart was pounding the whole time. What to do? What to do? My brain kept repeating while the scene of the trailer colliding with my car played over and over.
A few hours later, I headed for the auto body shop across from the dealership where I bought my car. The guy assessed the damage and gave me an estimate that made me do a double take.
Then he suggested I file a claim with my insurance since I have collision insurance and I would just have to pay the deductible. I called the insurance company and asked 6 different individuals about whether if I file a claim, my insurance rate would go up. No one could answer that. All anyone could say was the insurance company will likely cover the repair.
I can’t even look at my car now. All I can think is what had I done? Why didn’t I stay at home yesterday? None of this would’ve happened. Why was I so desperate to head into nature?
Now, every time I close my eyes, the scene will play over and over. I have resumed my regimen of prescription sleep-aid to hopefully relieve my anxiety and help me sleep without sending me into an endless nightmare cycle.
For now though, I’m grounding myself until further notice. No more trips for me.