January 27, 2001

How does one describe a car accident? One moment, life is going just as you expect it to. The next, everything changes. I've had a couple of days to digest Kari's and my recent accident, and it still amazes me how quickly it happened. "What's that?" you say. "What accident?" Good question, glad you asked. Kari and I were headed to Sierra Vista and never even made it to the interstate. An eyelash got in her eye and Kari didn't see the stopped traffic in front of her. Next thing I knew, the car swerved into the center lane, almost missing the car in front of us. We didn't miss it, and I watched as the hood buckled and the world around us shook. A moment later, my nose hurts and there's blood everywhere. My blood. Realizing quickly that this accident, like most, stank to high heaven, a few choice words left my lips.

Looking back, I honestly cannot remember what happened in that split second when the airbags deployed. One moment, the car accident was happening. The next, my nose is bloody and there is this wretched smell in the car. One of my first thoughts was "I hate airbags." Having nothing else with which to wipe my nose, I used my already depleted airbag. I got out of the car looking worse than I actually was. Thankfully, there was no major damage to either of us. Kari has some bruises and burns (thank you, air bags. Next time, deploy when it's actually needed), but nothing serious. Can't say the same for the car. The damage was extremely localized to the front right headlight area, including bumper, hood and fender, but that localized damage doesn't look good at all.

There's an estimate I read somewhere that says a driver is expected to be in at least one major car accident in his or her lifetime. I've been in other accidents before, including the time my mother rolled our van when I was six (a few bumps and bruises but we were fine), or the time I was T-boned by a red light runner (my passenger was quite banged up while I walked away without a scratch). There was the time I hit a bicyclist (it was dark, he had no light, we both got tickets, he almost sued) and the time I hit a tree (we won't talk about that one). I guess I've had tons of experiences. I still don't like car accidents.

Besides the obvious physical changes, Kari's and my life changed in that instant. Suddenly, Kari has a ticket (well, that came an hour and a half later, when the lady cop finally got around to doing that). Suddenly, Kari and I don't have a car. We are now dependant on others for rides. Granted, we are very grateful for those rides, but it is hard to have to depend on others. Suddenly, we have to deal with the hassle of insurance agencies and auto repairmen. We are forced to look at our situation and life in a slightly different perspective. I guess that's ok, though. I mean, I haven't lost anything truly important, have I?


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