A bunch of my coworkers follow me on Twitter. One of the (several) embarrassing things about this has to do with people I work with but don’t know terribly well personally getting an undiluted stream of whining from me, such as after a weekend like this last one, where every message I posted was something along the lines of AIIIEE WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIIIIEEEE. One of my coworkers said that following me was making him terrified of ever having kids of his own.

Right! Well, just doing my part to curb population control, you know.

It does make me wonder what sorts of fragmented picture of my life someone could piece together from Twitter, especially if it’s a person who doesn’t really know me in person or (to my knowledge) read my blog. I must sound like an unhappy, ADD-riddled crank, endlessly making asinine observations. Not that a 140 character-limit window is really the best place for deep personal revelations, but most of my updates could be filed under DEAR LORD SAVE ME FROM MY FERAL CHILDREN or THIS JUST IN! CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES R GOOD.

Something I started to mention on Twitter this morning and didn’t, because I couldn’t think how to describe it with any sort of brevity: I nearly hit a motorcycle on my way into work today. If the accident had happened it would have been my fault without a doubt, but in my defense I’ll say he didn’t have his lights on and he was wearing dark colors from head to toe, making him nearly indistinguishable in the grey, dim morning from the concrete embankment on my left. I looked in my mirror, I looked over my shoulder, and I just didn’t see him in my blind spot before starting to make my way into the left lane — only at the last minute did I get a sense of something not being quite right and hauled ass back into my lane.

Do you ever think about the paths your life has taken, the small and large events that have shaped your footsteps to where you are now? That moment in my car this morning was like some giant, unspeakable peek into What Might Have Been: a slightly different reaction time and who knows what sort of terrible outcome there might have been, instead of what did happen, which was me shaking my head and saying “Shit! Shit! Shit!” and driving the rest of the way to work, biker unscathed.

Comments

45 Responses to “Documented”

  1. Kim on November 18th, 2008 4:53 pm

    Woof. Just reading that had me kind of shaky. I’m glad it turned out good. One of my friends hit a guy on a bike on her way into work one morning last year (same situation, kind of dark, the guy was not really visable, plus she has DARK tinted windows on her truck) and she’s still dealing with the financial and legal stuff. Luckily she works at a good law office. But still.

  2. Karen on November 18th, 2008 5:00 pm

    Wow. Close call.
    My boyfriend used to have a motorcycle before I met him, he stopped using his partly as he got a car – but also a friend of his nearly lost his life in an accident.
    I’ve always felt that motorbikes were dangerous – his arguement (now the feelings of his friends close call appear to have dimmed in his mind) is that it’s generally a car drivers fault – it’s not the bikes fault.

    OK…yeah – the bike doesn’t spontaneously combust or anything but sometimes when we’re driving – motorcyclists seem to think their thin stature is an open invitation to start weaving in and out of traffic – then they’d blame the driver for not checking their blind spot!

    I’m still putting my foot down though – he’ll never get a *cough* dangerous *cough* motorbike while he’s with me – I’d never stop worrying!

  3. Bitter Betty on November 18th, 2008 5:01 pm

    I’m sure I have many but the one that still haunts me, makes me pop into a sweat and slam my asshole shut with fear is what happened last Feb.

    I was in San Francisco and was quite proud of myself for using all manners of public transport without the aid of a native. My boyfriend and I were waiting for a street car at the stop by our hotel to meet friends for dinner and it was taking forever.

    I finally spotted the car coming up the street I nearly stepped off the curb at the spot it had stopped earlier that day, thinking I’d be in prime position to get on first.

    Well, not knowing how things work on a busy Saturday evening I didn’t realize full trains don’t stop for anyone unless someone signals to get off so while my brain is still saying “take a step” the million pound train is SCREAMING past me, 4 inches from my face, at lord knows what mph.

    I don’t know what possessed me to think I should have moved an inch from the sidewalk but I’m glad some divine intervention kept me where I stood and I wasn’t turned into mincemeat. Even thinking about it makes me cringe.

  4. Pete on November 18th, 2008 5:05 pm

    Back in 84 I fell asleep and drove off the road with my family between Phoenix and Flagstaff. If you have ever driven that Interstate there are very few place you can drive off the road and live. I pull over now.

  5. Paige on November 18th, 2008 5:16 pm

    I have a friend who couldn’t decide which college to attend. Both her choices were in the same state, had a great program in what she wanted to study, and were offering her equal amounts of scholarship money. She eventually let a ping-pong game between two other friends be the deciding factor, as each friend was going to the opposite school. She would attend the school of the winning friend. The decision was made. While at that school, she got married, got divorced, and had a college prank go wrong, which resulted in her becoming a convicted felon. She was on probation for five years so she couldn’t leave the state, which she had planned on doing after graduating. During those five years she met husband #2. They now have 2 daughters and are still living happily in the same state, despite the fact she’s been a law abiding citizen for several years now. We still talk about what might have been had our other friend been a better ping-pong player.

  6. Ashleas on November 18th, 2008 5:20 pm

    I’m blind in my left eye and can’t see jack squat. I have a bigger blind spot than most people and yet the State of Ohio still gave me a license (No problem). Well one time I was driving on unfamiliar roads and I didn’t realize that a the road split into 3 lanes for a turn. One lane went left, One went straight, One went right. I was in the Right one and didn’t want to be.
    Well I looked in my left mirror and my rear view mirror, saw no one and went to move over. Only to get honked at angrily. Turns out I had driven a station wagon out of the lane. They were in my blind spot – the area where neither my good eye nor my mirrors cover. Ever since then.. I look over my shoulder (I have to since just turning my head does nothing) even if my Grandparents comment it makes me weave a bit (they’ve followed me on trips to and from college hauling stuff). I’d rather weave than run someone off.

  7. Amy on November 18th, 2008 5:28 pm

    I wonder that a lot. My dad died just after I graduated from college. He was the center of my universe and I went awol. I got into drugs, drinking and some other things I’m not so proud of (and don’t look forward to ever having to talk to my kids about). One night I took too much and almost died. After that I cleaned up my act, worked hard and have now been married almost 10 years and have two beautiful boys who I wouldn’t trade for anything. But sometimes I do wonder, what if, what if I’d made a different choice, what if I’d handled it better, what would my life be like now. I’ll never know…but if knowing would mean not having those two wonderful, crazy, sometimes annoying, boys to go home to, then I don’t want to know!

    Glad you didn’t hit the guy….for both your sakes!

  8. Sunshyn on November 18th, 2008 5:42 pm

    I lost two friends to motorcycles in as many months. Both wonderful guys. My generation, these guys start making enough money to get the Harley of their dreams. But they are older, and they don’t have the reflexes. And they break easier. Neither accident was their faults. One was a drunk hit & run. Both were huge losses to our community. One guy hung in a coma for a month. And last night an ass on a bike pulled right in front of me in dark clothing IN THE DARK to turn left, me with the kidlet in the car. I don’t think he even had his headlight on. Good thing I drive slow on dark winding roads. I was driving my mom’s car and couldn’t find the horn, so I didn’t even have the satisfaction of honking at him. Idjit.

  9. victoria on November 18th, 2008 5:46 pm

    I guess I wonder what it would’ve been like to have kids, but that wasn’t a “one instant and everything could have been different” kind of thing, it was more of a “husband was persistent in saying ‘No kids!’ year after year” kind of thing.

  10. Swistle on November 18th, 2008 5:50 pm

    YES. Yes I DO think that way. To the point of needing MEDICATION to keep from sitting in a corner making keening noises as I imagine all the things I did/didn’t do that will/won’t lead to Doom.

  11. Andrea on November 18th, 2008 5:53 pm

    Ever wonder why Harley riders have such LOUD pipes? One reason being, because we hope at least if you do not see us, you may hear us before we are run down. Every other time we leave our home, we are nearly run over, bullied or intimidated by drivers. We are experienced riders, not kids at 46. We always have our lights on and wear appropriate clothing for the situation, and still it happens. Sometimes like you, it is accidental and soul rattling. Other times when a large truck, occupent with a cheeseburger in one hand and a cell phone in the other, is 6 inches from my bumper with intent in his eye, I, in the moment fear death. I am sorry for your scare. Believe me when I say, I know exactly how you feel. I thank the Harley boys for those loud obnoxious pipes, non riders hate, each and every time I hit the road.

  12. ColorCodedC on November 18th, 2008 6:13 pm

    Oh, man. I know exactly what you mean. I was stopped at a red light once, waiting to turn right when the traffic had gone past. I looked to my right when I pulled to the light but didn’t look again when I pulled out. Not in my defense at all, but it was a super busy road…not one that typically had any sort of pedestrians. Anyway, when the traffic had gone, I made my zippy right-hand turn. And, as I turned, I saw an elderly man who’d started to cross the road in front of my car. You know, because he had the GREEN LIGHT that was telling him to WALK. I actually had to pull my car over after that and think for a minute. If he’d gotten to the intersection one SPLIT second earlier, I probably would have hit him. It scared the living s**t out of me. But, boy do I ever look right before I turn now…

  13. sweetsalty kate on November 18th, 2008 6:20 pm

    What-ifs make my heart pound. You listened to your spidey senses, good stuff. I think we dim-witted people disregard it too often as silliness or paranoia when it’s actually some kind of ancient animal mystical shit that’s YELLING at us to turn now or slow down or duck.

    I think of the path in life that I have *almost* taken many times that would lead to me being unceremoniously dumped by my husband: TWITTERING.

    I am sorely tempted, though. That’s where all the cool kids are. sniff.

  14. Holly on November 18th, 2008 7:05 pm

    Something really similar happened to me recently, except it wasn’t a guy on a motorcycle it was a little boy zooming by on his skateboard. The garage for my office lets out across from a mall’s loading dock. This kid came zooming across traffic from the loading dock directly towards my driveway. I had looked right before turning out of the garage, looked left, then THANKFULLY looked right again when I saw him. He was flying towards me, I’d turned I would have hit him for sure. As I sat there freaking out a CITY BUS made a right hand turn from the street corner to my left, heading STRAIGHT TOWARDS THE BOY. He made it up the curb and out of the way of the bus in time, but I SAW HIS FACE as he zoomed by and he was TERRIFIED. He must have took off across the street completely without looking, then to almost bite it TWICE . . . I want to say “poor kid” because I know he was scared, but seriously, maybe now he’ll think twice (or three times) before tearing off into traffic on his skateboard again.

  15. Caitlin on November 18th, 2008 7:10 pm

    I think about it a lot.
    About a year and a half ago, I was living in Boston, working at a job that was no longer right for me, and was thisclose to moving to the Netherlands for a grad program I got into.

    My gut told me not to go to Europe. I couldn’t tell you why, it just wasn’t quite right. So for reasons still quite unknown to me, I stayed in my miserable job in Boston.
    The week before I would have been starting classes was the week I met my boyfriend (who will likely end up my husband). And the next week, instead of starting classes, I was flying to Hawaii on a whim with the man of my dreams. We now live together in DC.

    I could be in the Netherlands right now, studying the effects of bilungualism on child brains, and wondering just WHAT, exactly, that tugging in my gut WAS before I left the US. Thank god I know.

  16. Victoria on November 18th, 2008 7:16 pm

    I do think about that. The paths. And while I try not to live with regrets or fears, I often wonder what the alternate universe me’s life is like.

    Sorry about the motorcycle shakeup.

    And, I love your twitters much muchly.

  17. kalisa on November 18th, 2008 7:38 pm

    I drive a little convertible, and one day I was driving home from work (in the dark) on the expressway. I changed lanes for no apparent reason – there wasn’t any cars in front of me. Just after I moved over a lane I passed what appeared to be a gigantic plastic bag. Probably full of leaves or yard clippings or something, but it was as big as my car! I totally would’ve wrecked if I’d hit that.

    Things like that just freak me right the fuck out.

  18. Shawna on November 18th, 2008 8:01 pm

    One day I went to a dorky “enrichment mini-course” at my local university when I was in high school. I met a guy and hit it off with him. It didn’t last but we remained friends and through him I met a cascade of other people, one of whom I was dating when deciding where to go to university. He loved his school so I took a look at it and decided it suited me too. And of course my life has been partly shaped by that university experience. I can trace a lot of who I know and what I’ve done – maybe even a bit of who I now am – back to that one decision to attend that course back in high school.

  19. Mama Ritchie on November 18th, 2008 8:33 pm

    I always wonder what life would be like if it was a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. I’d always check every single outcome. I guess my turning point was when my father was unemployed my senior year. I was supposed to be picking out colleges, but didn’t know if I’d have the tuition money. My dad got offered a position in Texas. So I was looking at Texas A&M. Right when I was about to send my application, my father got a job in our state of Michigan, and I got to go to my first choice, UofM. If I ended up in Texas, I wouldn’t have met Matt Breed in my freshman sociology class, who introduced me to my husband and to Jen Orf, who eventually introduced me to you! I wonder if I would be wearing cowboy boots and listening to country music…

  20. Mama Ritchie on November 18th, 2008 8:35 pm

    Oh, and I’m glad you didn’t accidentally kill anyone today.

  21. laura on November 18th, 2008 8:54 pm

    when I first got my drivers license, there was a new law that you needed to have your DL for six months before you could have a minor as a passenger. One day, my mom asked me to run out for a quick errand and my best friend was over… I begged to be allowed to take her with me but my mom insisted I obey the law I thought was so stupid.
    On my way home, I ran off the road on a hairpin turnand hit a telephone pole and crumpled my entirepassenger side. My friend would have been killed, no question. Thanks, mom.

  22. willikat on November 18th, 2008 8:58 pm

    Eeek, I hate those close calls that leave the adrenaline rushing and hands shaking long after its over.
    I always think about what-if, what-if, what-if, when I’m making decisions, or especially after something really stupid falls out of my mouth at an inopportune time.
    I try not to fall into that trap when I’m feeling sorry for myself as it usually gets me nowhere, but I do like to think about how my decisions led me to this spot, a spot I couldn’t have imagined for myself because I had no idea the obstacles and happinesses that have come my way. I’m glad I didn’t turn out how I thought I would have; I would have missed a lot.
    I love the movie Sliding Doors; have you seen that? It’s all about what happens to Gwyneth Paltrow–half the movie is about if she made one decision, the other half is about the other. I own it. And it makes me think a lot about that exact thing.

  23. alison on November 18th, 2008 9:18 pm

    I often wonder if I had followed the path laid out for for me: married my fiancee, college, straight A’s, children, and maybe a career in there somewhere, who I would be today?

    Instead I chose parties, paying my own way through school, several (ok, LOTS of) poor life choices, and fun.

    I wouldn’t change it. I am who I am today because I bucked the system and made my own path.

    But every now and then…what if?

  24. Kristi on November 18th, 2008 9:23 pm

    gah…and then you can’t get that alternate reality out of your head for the rest of the day! Just barely slinking by the What Might Have Been makes you mighty grateful for What Is!

  25. Jamie on November 18th, 2008 10:02 pm

    I’m not terribly wise about myself – I’m rarely introspective and most things pass through my memory quickly without analysis…but that said, I can agree with you that sometimes a non-accident is almost as bad (if not worse) than getting into the accident.

  26. Ashley on November 18th, 2008 10:29 pm

    Yikes, that would throw my whole day. So glad no one was hurt. When I was in high school a bunch of us were headed back to campus after lunch and I was driving. A little girl jumped out in front of my car, I had just enough of a millisecond to swerve and miss her. It was such a knee-jerk reaction I was lucky no one was in the lane I swerved into. I don’t think I exhaled until I laid my head down that night. I still think about how that could have changed both of our lives for the worse.

  27. Amy on November 18th, 2008 10:44 pm

    Wow – crazy story about the motorcyclist. My friends and family always laugh at me because I refuse to drive behind or next to a biker on the freeway. I always slow way down or change lanes so I’m not near them anymore. I just always have this insane fear that, even if I don’t make a wrong move, someone in another lane will and the biker will swerve and fall off and there I’ll be bump, bump, bumping right over them. Morose, I know. But it’s just the way I think. And I couldn’t live with the memory of that.

    Anyway, sorry you had to go through that freaky experience. I bet your heart beat hard for the rest of the drive. Glad everything is OK.

  28. iidly on November 18th, 2008 11:15 pm

    I did have a life changing event. I had a motorcyclist hit me and he died. There was nothing I can do to save his life. He was road kill the moment he plowed into the passenger side of my car. I didn’t drive for a very long time, it was horrible.

    I am very thankful that you were not involved in an accident and you are okay.

  29. Heather on November 19th, 2008 12:12 am

    This post brings back that same heart-racing feeling I remember so well. When I was 8 months pregnant I watched a car get hit by a driver who ran a red light. It was the car directly in front of me, making a left turn on a green arrow. I had actually already started to follow that car our into the intersection, and heard the screech of tires of the car that had missed the light just before it hit the car in front of me. I remained at the scene as a witness until the police came. The women in both cars were, thankfully , alright save some bumps and bruises, and EVERYONE (both women, witnesses, and cops) commented on my obvious pregnancy and the fact that had it been me, it may have been a different story. Bumps and bruises I could handle, but not having my beautiful boy is too much to wrap my head around. So glad everyone is safe.

  30. Donna on November 19th, 2008 1:44 am

    Ah, the what ifs. That way lies madness.
    Glad today was ok. On the other hand what if the motorcycle guy was a serial killer on his bike because there was a dead girl in his car………

  31. nonsoccermom on November 19th, 2008 7:41 am

    Yikes, that is scary. Glad everything is ok.

    I often think about the paths life could have taken, and wonder about what could have been. But then I think about that college girl that didn’t want to have kids at all, and I’m okay with the way things turned out, even if it is not what I had always planned!!

  32. Tara on November 19th, 2008 9:05 am

    I am surprised, and dismayed, that the motorcyclist didn’t have his lights on. Responsible bikers ALWAYS have their lights on, no matter what it’s like outside, because it increases their visibility to other drivers and makes them safer. So–good for you that you noticed, but I think it would be hard to blame you for not seeing him if something had happened. He wasn’t doing his part to stay safe. But I’m very glad that everything turned out okay and no one got hurt.

    My husband has a Harley, which I’m not thrilled about, but at least I know he’s as safe a rider as he can be. He recognizes that the biggest threat to him is drivers of cars, and he knows he always has to be on the defensive. He’s very careful.

    I had a guy on a moped drive into the passenger side of my pick-up truck while I was in grad school. Thank goodness, he only broke his collarbone, but I was a wreck. I still don’t know how I got home that night, and I had the shakes for days. (My then-husband was an ass about it, though–I was crying so hard, trying to tell him what happened, and he was all “it’s just a car accident, what’s the big deal?” Yeah. Thus the “then-” part.)

  33. Her Ladyship on November 19th, 2008 9:08 am

    That is why bike riders are supposed to wear so much reflective gear. We have a scooter, and I bought one of those orange reflective vests to wear (the kind that you often see on the guys waving your airplane in at the airport). Cool? Not at all, but it increases my visibility.

    Oh, and sorry, but the whole thing about Harley riders having loud pipes so people can see them is a non-starter. This was told to me by instructors at a motorcycle riding school. The reason is, the pipes aim behind the rider, but the people most likely to hit them are in front of the rider.

    As for a what-if, I think of a time maybe eight years ago where I was having a late lunch with a friend and was absolutely starving, so I felt it unnecessary to, um, chew the hunk of beef kabob I’d started eating and just swallowed it whole. Turns out you really can’t, and for an agonizing second, it got stuck. It went down, but I still think about how close that was (and what an absolutely asinine way to go).

  34. Kristen on November 19th, 2008 9:15 am

    That scares the bejesus out of me. That wonky feeling you get and then all day the thought of “what if..”. So scary. Glad everything’s okay.

  35. H on November 19th, 2008 9:16 am

    I just don’t get twitter. At all. What is the point? To reduce everything to a sound quip? It’s like instant message but one way.
    Someone please explain.

  36. MRW on November 19th, 2008 9:59 am

    I have a bunch of those Sliding Doors moments when I wonder what life would have been like. some good, some bad. My best friend was hit head on by an econoline van about 9 years ago and although she wasn’t killed, her body will never fully recover. It cuts two ways because in one alternate reality her life is better and in another she would be dead. Still, I always wish she’d been just two minutes later or earlier that day.

  37. Kristin on November 19th, 2008 10:19 am

    My husband and I were in Mexico 3 years ago for a vacation. I had just found out I was pregnant. We are pretty adventurous travelers (he spent part of his growing up years in Mexico and speaks Spanish fluently) and we tend to go off the beaten path. Anyway, we had rented a car and were traveling around the interior and western edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, staying in different cities each night. Near the end of the trip we decided to visit a bunch of archeological sites all within a day’s drive of each other–provided you were comfortable driving on tiny, barely two lane roads through the jungle which would be marked on maps at some point and then show up as dot-dot-dot and then resume later…for some reason we were comfortable with this. We packed some water and food and took off.

    We found the sites with only a few problems and had a great day. Then, we decided hey, let’s spend our last few days at the beach on the eastern side of the peninsula (Playa del Carmen, etc.). It looked like about a four hour drive (it was 3 in the afternoon)if we read the map VERY carefully and tried to make our own direct way there. As opposed to driving north for a couple of hours and then getting on the major highway east for another 4 hours–easier for sure to navigate, but a longer drive.

    We stupidly took the map and the dot-dot-dot tiny road route and got lost. Really, really lost. And we ran out of water. And I started to feel a lot of nausea and had to pee all of the time because being 6 weeks pregnant kicked in. And then it got dark. We were both kind of freaking out because we had been driving for an hour with no sign of any human habitation at all.

    Luckily we ran into a road we recognized on the map, and we took it to the major highway. So it took us 4 hours of frustrated and aimless driving to basically reach our starting point to go east to the beach. We stopped at a gas station for dinner and decided we had to keep driving, despite our exhaustion, because there really wasn’t anywhere to stay off of this major highway until you got to the beach cities.

    My husband started driving and I did my best to keep him awake. After about 3 hours of this we were almost there. We were driving on a stretch of highway that was mostly deserted, despite having multiple lanes in both directions. Suddenly N. said, “Do you see something funny up ahead of us?” I could see some sort of reflection, but I couldn’t tell what it was. He started to slow down (we had been going probably 75 mph) and then slammed on his brakes. We slid to a stop about 15 feet away from a huge semi truck that had jacknifed across the road so it was completely blocking all the lanes going eastbound.

    The driver had opened the side door/panels of the truck (and then left, I assume to get help) and we could see that it was filled with huge plastic jugs of water, which made the reflection we saw. The truck had no lights on and no reflective markings on the side. There was no moon that night and of course, no lights on the side of the road.

    It was terrifying. We pulled around the truck on the shoulder and drove away, shaking. If the driver hadn’t opened up the truck to reveal the water jugs, causing a reflection from our headlights, and if my husband hadn’t been driving (I doubt I would have noticed it in time) we would surely have driven into the side of the semi, going 75 mph.

    I think about that night often, although, thankfully not as much as I used to.

    Wow–I guess that brought up some issues–I didn’t mean for that to be so long! I’m going to have to post it on my blog now–no use wasting all of that writing when you’re tying to do NaBloPoMo (half-heartedly)! Great question, Linda. And I’m glad nothing bad happened to you this morning.

  38. telegirl on November 19th, 2008 10:32 am

    On a trip one time, I pulled off the 2-lane highway onto a dirt road to feed my infant son (we’re in Oregon, remember!). When we were done, I came back out and went to turn right to head south again. I looked to my left to verify no one was coming and started to pull out. Just as I did, a car sped past me as it was passing another car heading northbound; it was in the southbound lane to pass. I still feel sick when I think of how horrible things might have been if I had been just two seconds earlier. It was so close. It just didn’t occur to me to look to my right as no one should have been in that south-bound lane, which sounds ludicrous now as I write this. Just a small error in judgment that could have had dire circumstances for our little family.

  39. Gleemonex on November 19th, 2008 12:37 pm

    When I was about 9, my stupid-ass puppy was chasing/being chased around our front yard by this Irish setter from the neighborhood. I thought my dog was in danger, so I was screaming for him, and chasing the both of them, and they darted out into the road, the setter in the lead, me so close on their heels I could’ve caught my dog’s tail. None of the three of us paid any attention to the road at all, just the chase. An 18-wheel truck loomed out of nowhere, flying down the road, and hit — no, churned up — the Irish setter. Twenty-five years later, I can still see it clear as day in my mind’s eye, what that looked like, with all those wheels. My dog beat death by inches that day, as did I.

    It’s moments like this that made me put off having children for so long, and moments like this that make me pray to a god I’m not sure I believe in — just keep my baby from harm. Keep her safe. Keep all of us from being the truck driver in the grim alternate scenario.

  40. Josh on November 19th, 2008 5:53 pm

    Dude, I ride a friggin scooter around. You think riding a motorcycle is dangerous, take all that normal danger and then combine it with no one on the road giving a crap whether you live or die. Scooters get no respect, and almost daily I have some jack off look right at me, and decide they will pull out in front of me at the last minute just because they don’t want to get stuck behind me. I’ve been run off the road before as well, on purpose, just because some redneck was probably drunk and thought it would be funny to fuck with the scooter guy. People have thrown shit at me, tried to hit me with tree branches, and regularly pass me withing inches of my vehicle. And all this shit because I drive a peasants vehicle that doesn’t go as fast as they want to go right at that second. Now I carry around a big stick to fight people with if I ever get the chance to confront one outside of their vehicle. So yeah, life altering almost-moments are pretty much a run of the mill thing now. I find it’s better just to try and not think about what just almost happened and save it up for when you get the chance to beat the living shit out of someone who messes with you.

  41. Jennifer on November 19th, 2008 11:39 pm

    Whew. We’ve all teetered on the edge, huh?

    I hate thinking about those close calls because they are just too freaky, sometimes you just can’t help it though. I was nearly t-boned and killed at an intersection by an idiot driver about a year or so ago and I think about it at least once a week. I’m not
    a religious person, but someone was watching out for me that day.

    I’ve been on the other side too. My way home from work takes me through a terrible part of town – no streetlights, shitty roads and homeless people everyfuckingwhere (welcome to Atlanta!) who frequently dart across the street while the light is green. I’ve had a couple of near-misses and have seen a some close calls too. I couldn’t live with myself if I accidentally hit someone. God! Or someone’s pet?! That might be worse, if that’s even possible.

    Quick. Let’s talk about something else! How are we going to survive when ‘True Blood’ ends for the season?

  42. Jem on November 20th, 2008 6:54 am

    Yeah, I once wrote an entry about all the tiny choices I’ve made that have completely changed my life…it’s amazing to think about

  43. Yet Another Jenny on November 20th, 2008 12:36 pm

    I’ve been beating myself up for going to law school forever. I’ve finally passed the bar, 3 YEARS after I graduated, and I want to say I’m glad that I never quit school, and glad I didn’t give up on becoming licensed, but geez, I do still look back and second-guess all these choices, and it drives me insane. (My therapist, at this point, would invite me to give myself permission to focus on those currently pressing issues that I might actually be able to do something about. He’s good that way.)

    And if I think too much about driving, and how bad I am at it, I’d be too terrified to go out for milk.

  44. Brooke on November 20th, 2008 3:54 pm

    I think all the time about alternate realities. I’ve just finished a novel whose characters are based on me and my friends. I took a moment from our life and went “What if I’d done x instead of Y?” 170 pages later….

  45. SalGal on November 21st, 2008 8:42 am

    I think about that sometimes too. I always thought I was an “accident” because my sisters are 6 and 9 years older than me. I found out later that my Dad was in Vietnam during those inbetween years. AND, he was very nearly killed by a sniper who did shoot and kill his driver. My parents’ later divorce and my mom’s remarriage moved us out of state where I went on to meet my husband. We have two kids. If that sniper had killed my Dad, I would never have existed and neither would my children . . .

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