'Tegra-chan, my darling green Integra is no more. She was slain by a little old lady driving a very large SUV who didn't look before crossing the street. 'Tegra-chan did good by me, and I got off with only minor cuts and bruises. My car, unfortunately she took the hit on the driver's side A-pillar, which in English means basically where the driver's side mirror is. Structurally this is a very important part of the car, so damage there is not good. Personally, this is very close to where the driver (me, in this case) sits, so it's pretty incredible that I didn't suffer any serious injury. The impact damaged the frame, and shifted the dashboard. It also caved the door in against my seat. (This is where the bruise came from -- the door stopped where my arm began.) I was very, very lucky not to have been more injured. I was on this particular route the day this happened (it was back at the end of July) to avoid a backup caused by a fatal accident, and on the way home afterward we passed another accident where a car was on its side with the roof sawed off to get the driver out. I'll take minor cuts and bruises, with a very large side of thank you.
I didn't hurt the little old lady for killing my darling car. I didn't even say anything unpleasant to her. You should all be very, very proud of me. I mean that. Very proud. The accident was completely her fault: she had a stop, and didn't see me. I didn't have a stop, and I totally saw her. Unfortunately she pulled out when it was too late for me to do anything more than hit the horn and pray.
People talk about how easy it is to get into a car accident. I don't buy it any more. The chain of causality has so many minute, fine links in it, all of which must align perfectly. In the month and a half since the accident I've thought time and again about the little variations that would have changed the outcome. Five seconds either way is all it would have taken. Five short seconds, about as long as it takes you to read this sentence. Five seconds earlier, and I could have gunned it and gotten through ahead of her. Five seconds later, and I could have braked and swerved and avoided the lady. If I'd let that car go ahead at the merge a mile and a half back, I would have had my five seconds. If I'd left work a minute earlier -- or even a minute later, free and clear, no question. If I'd dithered a bit more on what music to play; or if I'd dithered less. If I'd stayed in this lane and gotten caught at the light, rather than popped into that one and made it through... Avoiding it all boils down to being able to see the future. I personally did everything I possibly could have to avoid the accident, and in retrospect I realize part of why I wasn't more seriously hurt was even in that moment I instinctively did all the right things to minimize the impact. Sometimes stuff just happens, and this was one of the somethings.
Just as everything came together perfectly to put me at exactly the right spot at exactly the right time, everything has also come together to make the aftermath not so difficult. fresne moved and so was able to easily give me rides to and from work while I sorted out a car. obsessivewoman had a car she needed driven, but didn't herself have good opportunities for driving it, so I was able to have transportation and do a friend a favor in the process. rhylar and his lovely wife helped out in countless vital ways. And my folks have gone above and beyond helping me out. I am so blessed in my friends and family.
Personally, I'm doing okay, though I am still upset when I think about it. I'd had that car for over twelve years, and I adored her. To me, it's like someone ran over my pet. It's not something where one wakes up the next morning and says, eh, she was an old dog anyway. So I celebrate the times I had with her, and I take the good things that have been happening for me, but at the same time I do still mourn my pretty green car. She was the bestest car in the world.