I know the size of the front of a Ford F-150 truck. is it 20 times my head? Thirty? Of that I cannot be sure. But I know for an instance it is the size of the world and everything in it. It takes over your vision, fills your senses and makes your world just a tango for two. You in your mini-SUV and the F-150, white and black coming together as if by some inescapable force
And then you realize that that strangely graceful time as it slid towards you before the impact was just a prelude. That its grace is less elengance and more sheer power and brute force. And that the music looping in my head splinters apart in the garish cymbals of breaking glass and buckling metal.
And then, after, when it's done, when the cops and the ambulance are gone, when I've called anyone who needs to be called, using my most-calm voice....that's when the fear arrives. More than the soreness of my body...is the magnitude of my fear.
Fear of driving...driving like an old lady, avoiding sitting behind the wheel, re-living that silver grille on a black surface slamming into my car. Spinning around in slow motion.
My life did not flash before my eyes. I thought of no one. I ceased being myself.
How can something that lasts an instant still be with me three days later? Will it still be here 3 weeks later, 3 months?
How do people go back to real life after being seriously injured in car accidents? How do they get their nerve back?
I barely faced my mortality in that accident and I am not (well I'll know for sure when I go to the doctor) even injured and yet I feel as if I've lost something, some part of myself that I might never find again. Something I still need to search for and reclaim.
As soon as I figure out what it is. But I am happy (is that the right word?) to be still here...still alive.
The air smells sweet and I fill my lungs with it before letting it go...slowly!