Most of us have said that at some point in our lives, but mostly it isn’t true. Last Monday, I truly could have died.

The rain was tapering off, but the roads were wet as I drove to work. My route consists of two lane roads. For the last seven or so months, I’ve been confronted with someone encroaching on my lane about every other day. Usually, it’s just a tire of an oncoming car straddling the line into my lane. Once or twice, a passing car has startled me before returning to its own lane. Monday was different.

As I passed a 55 mph sign, I glanced briefly at my speedometer. Just under the limit, which made sense, given conditions. I was running a little late, so I thought about speeding up, but decided against it. I’m glad I did. I looked up to see a car racing toward me, abreast of the freight truck it was passing, despite the double yellow line.

Clearly, the car could not pass the truck before it reached me. It was also going too fast to drop back behind the truck. Surprisingly, I made these calculations in time to pull off the road, into the soggy ground, before impact. Both vehicles whooshed past me. It happened so fast that I could not even hit my horn to express the rage that I felt.

The rage was the second surprise. There I was, breathing hard and realizing that if I had decided to piddle with the radio dial, or pick up my coffee cup, or anything else that might have diverted my attention for another second or two, I’d have been in a high speed, head-on collision. I could have died. And so could have that clown in the other car, in such a hurry that (s)he crossed a double yellow line. That clown could have died too.  I bitterly hoped that the clown had noticed. I was mad at the truck driver too, but I don’t know why.

After a moment, I pulled carefully back onto the road, and went to work. The rest of the day was routine. I left a little early, gingerly driving back along the same roads.

On a whim, I decided to make a detour and finally see about filling the eyeglass prescription I’d been carrying around since October. At the  trendy place I’d been reading about on Yelp, a nice man helped me choose something I would never have considered on my own.

Dr. T and I had dinner, watched a little TV, and I went to bed, after jotting a couple of lines in my electronic journal.

It didn’t occur to me until the next day that what I had chosen to write about was choosing new glasses.

Advertisements