Understanding in a Car Crash

One of my best friends called me this afternoon to tell me she was in a car accident today. I am so relieved that she is okay, and man, do I know how she feels right now. Two months ago this week, I crashed my (beloved) car. I don’t think the full impact of it hit me until much later. I could hear the crash in my head when I closed my eyes, every time I heard a loud noise. They took my car away, handed me a duct-taped bundle of my license plates, my license plate frames, and my ipod holder. All that was left. I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do with it, so I stashed it in my hall closet. I bought a new car, another Subaru to keep me just as safe as the first (second!) one. When we walked into the dealer, we saw a poster of all the Subaru models, all smashed up. “Five Star Crash Test Ratings: It’s What Makes a Subaru, a Subaru.” (Yes, I am still angry about that unnecessary comma. Just because there’s a pause in the sentence doesn’t mean you put a comma there. Honestly!) I suppose I’m living proof of that now.

I went back to my normal life, although I was a bit more cautious while driving. I had to drive past the scene of the accident every day as I went to work, and I tried not to let that bother me. It was kind of hard.

One day I was switching my stuff from one purse to another, and as I popped open the expandable snaps on my black bag, a piece of glass shot across the dining room table. A piece of glass from my car, left over from the accident. I had found glass in my coat pockets for days after the accident, but this was weeks later. I have no idea why, but I saved that damn piece of glass.

Maybe it was to remind me that I am so lucky, that I am okay, that I will be okay. Yes, it was a trauma, a life-changing event. But I lived through it, and I am here now. Sure, listening to people talk about driving in the town where I work kind of sucks, and watching OnStar and AllState commercials is… rather difficult. I guess I will learn to deal with it, and maybe one day I’ll be able to listen to “Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel” again.

I cut my toe on some glass as I climbed out the passenger side of my car that day. The (albeit tiny) cut took a long time to heal, maybe because I stepped on it all day every day. Every morning when I put on my socks, I’d pause to check it out, see how it was doing. Could I still see it? Was it still red? Had it healed over yet? It took weeks and weeks, but now, it’s finally gone. My toe is all better. Or maybe it’s more than just my toe.

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