Tonight the weather was really nice; so, I had my windows down and the sunroof open as I enjoyed the cooler dry night air coming into the car as I drove home from dinner–almost piddling down the road in no hurry at all. Unexpectedly I came upon an eerie scene.
The small number of cars in front of me began slowing–really slowing. They stopped. In the darkness ahead was a horrible accident difficult to see because none of the vehicles involved were facing the correct way. One was on its side in the woods. I only noticed it because a lone headlight, the only one remaining on any of the vehicles involved, was shining up into the trees. In the darkness, it looked like a gas tanker. The smell of propane (or some such gas) was suddenly thick in the air. The sound of the night breeze entering my open window was replaced with the sound of leaking gas.
A man jumped out of his car in front of me, cell phone in hand, giving the location of the accident to emergency services. He walked over to an SUV and looked inside as he spoke on the phone. No one was visible in the vehicle.
Very large parts of vehicles (including headlight assemblies, an entire hood, complete bumpers) were strewn across a wide area of the road. Other than the man talking on the phone and the spewing gas sound, the silence seemed heavy and pervasive.
I thought about stopping, but the increasingly thick smell of gas choked the air out from my lungs. As I navigated my way around the debris, I avoided running over a shiny patent leather black purse sitting upright as if it were placed on the double yellow lines. How did this accident happen?
I live a long way from work. I drive far more than most people. I spend a great deal of time on the road. I have seen some terrifying accidents on the interstate at high rates of speed: out of control vehicles spinning ’round in circles, cars coming directly toward me going the wrong direction, smashing into one another all around me.
Once, while returning to Atlanta from Florida, I was chatting on the phone. The interstate came to a sudden and unexpected stop. I had to brake extremely hard to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of me. After stopping I looked in my rearview mirror only to see a large white Dodge Ram truck barreling down on me. He could not possibly stop. I calmly told my friend on the phone, and sincerely believed: I am about to be killed.
At the very last possible instant, the guy driving truck, rather than killing us both, veered his truck into the median and went flying past me spewing vast amounts of mud all over my windshield. He was fighting to keep his vehicle under control as he went up into the opposite side of the interstate sending all of those cars fleeing off of the road for safety.
After what seemed an unusually long period of time, he came to a stop back in the median, well ahead of me–at least a quarter, perhaps a half mile. Another miracle. No one was hurt. Many people were certainly very shaken by the event. My guardian angel works over time! I have not been involved in any of the horrible incidents to which I have been witness.
I actually do worry that I will be in a serious accident. But, despite that fact, I still drive. I still drive on the busy interstate in rush hour traffic every day. I literally believe that the odds of my being killed on the way to work are far greater than my being killed by a terrorist attack.
If you choose to vote for Bush, I hope you don’t do so out of fear. I believe his party uses fear to manipulate people: terror alert. Fear is the least palatable reason for voting for anyone. Perhaps it’s a good reason to vote against someone. Keep things in perspective.
Hmm, I wonder if Iraq has a terror alert to warn them of when our bombs will rain out of the sky.