I hit a deer (a huge 9-point buck soon to be consumed by the fire department, I'm told) head on going 70mph on the interstate the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, lost control of the car, spun across the highway and watched several other vehicles narrowly miss slamming into me as I finally came to a screeching stop horizontally across two lanes of traffic, the hood smashed in, smoke billowing into the air, headlights to my right for miles, my car totaled.
And I walked away.
Actually, I ran away at first, thinking the car was about to start on fire. I was choking on fumes trying to get out, and the locks kept locking and unlocking. When I finally got the door open I just ran.
And then there were just so many PEOPLE - pushing my car out of the road for me, asking me repeatedly if I was okay. Then there were all of the police officers and the fire men and the clipboards and the questions and the flashing blue lights. Mostly I was wondering if the Thanksgiving dinner and the five bottles of really good wine in the trunk were going to be okay. How fucking ridiculous and insignificant that seems in retrospect. Less ridiculous, though not nearly as important as my LIFE, is the emotional significance of that car to me. The one and only constant of my adult life, it was the car I purchased eleven years ago - brand new - the summer I graduated from Kenyon. I saved up the $500 deposit waiting tables at the Max & Erma's in Dublin while I applied for jobs in college admissions all over the country, ultimately ending up in Chicago.
A day later, I still feel totally and completely terrified. About what could have been. About what is. About life in general. I feel like I should just be so grateful that I'm okay and feel so lucky - and I absolutely *DO* - but I mostly just feel scared. Really, really scared.
I guess that the truth is this: I'm really a wreck, right now. I know I'll be okay, but I'm not okay right now. That's as real as it gets.