I think I almost died today.
How's that for melodrama? Are you on the edge of your seat?
I was driving home from a very pleasant lunch date. I was on the freeway, singing along to whatever was playing on my iPod. I had my foot on the gas, and I was going probably close to 70 and still accelerating. My lane, an exit lane, had just opened up clear ahead of me. But then, before I knew what was happening, some lady in a white car pulled in front of me. Going 40. I only had time for one thought: Fuck.
I had a split-second worth of consciousness of the fact that I should do something besides just slam on the brakes. That I should try to pull around in one of the other lanes. But I didn't have the reaction time for that. I didn't even have the time to check my rearview and see if there was someone behind me. All I could do was slam on the brakes. And all I can remember about that moment is the rear end of the white car stuttering toward my face as the anti-lock part of the anti-lock brakes kept me from sliding right into the back of her.
Lady in the white car, meanwhile, had no idea that I had just avoided barreling into her and ruining her day. She proceeded to make her next lane change, still at 40, and hold up that entire lane of traffic, oblivious to everybody else on the road.
I was shaken up, and thought to myself, wow, I probably just avoided really hurting myself. That would have been a bad accident. And then, it hit me.
I could have killed the baby.
Ugh - sniveling, crying, hormonal pregnant lady, coming through. That was the first time it really hit me, how responsible I am for this little life and how unforgivable it would be for me to hurt her out of my own carelessness. I mean, I knew it before on an academic-sort of-logic-based level, but this was the first time I really felt it in my gut. And it hurt. YECH it hurt a lot.
So, yeah. Glad I have that to look forward to feeling for the rest of my life. If you need to find me, I'll be the one driving in the right lane going 55 with my hazards on and my baby on board sign.