Spirals (The Accident) – Gary Young MySpace Blog

It’s late so I’m going to try and do a quick one. It’s been a while. Ha, yes! I guess this counts as an “automotive” entry.

I’ve been meaning to write about the sudden, strange and sometimes grotesque imagery in my recent dreams but I guess I’ll skip that for now.

I was in a car accident tonight. If you hear this through the grapevine, I’m okay. Nobody was injured. I’ll probably be a little sore in the morning but other than that I’m fine. The ol’ red machine, I’m not sure. If no damage was done to the rear under-workings or chassis, it could be a matter of some body work. If it’s any more than that, I’m afraid what they’ll say about a 16 year old SUV with slightly over a quarter of a million miles on it. The Blue Book value ain’t so hot.

Larry and Jenny were in the area — I had just seen them at work — and they were kind enough to transport me to the dealership (to follow the tow truck and do the drop box thing) and then try to find a car rental place that was open. There were none, but that’s another issue altogether. Then I got them to drop me off at work ’cause it was late as heck and I needed some place to regroup. Finally decided to get a cab home. Now I need sleep.

If you’ve ever been in a car accident or similar situation, this will sound familiar. While it’s happening, your mind sees it in slow motion but your body is still in real time, reacting according to the laws of physics and biochemicalelectrics. I was headed south on Washington through Old Town Alexandria. Someone headed west on Gibbon came out into the intersection. As my brain tried to register this information, my foot hit the accelerator, hoping to jump clear of any impact. Not fast enough. I thought, “He’s gonna hit.”

I heard the crash. You know that sound. The plastic and metal on metal sound. It’s more of a BANG these days with all of the composite materials. Then I felt the impact shudder through the car. For some reason I was surprised by the fact that I was spinning. I heard the tire go and the car leaned, saw sparks from the rim on the ground, saw myself fast approaching the curb and then I came to a halt. I think I turned into the spin so I ended up on the other side of the road facing in the opposite direction — facing north. And I’d like to thank the Red Machine aka Truckosaurus, aka the Tapemobile for not rolling. A witness said he was sure I was going to roll when he saw me on two wheels at one point.

I’ve heard it said that nature resolves conflict/tension via spirals.

I’ve been replaying all of the things that had to happen in order for me (not to mention the other guy) to be attempting to occupy the same space at the same time. If I hadn’t napped half the afternoon, if I had gone mountain biking, if I hadn’t given Leika a bath, if I hadn’t stopped at work or if I had stayed at work a little longer or I had done anything differently that would have taken 3 seconds more or less … it would have been a very different evening. And then I started thinking, this is how people die. Suddenly and unexpected. This is too close to the way my Uncle Junie died, now that I have time to think about it.

My car is a 1990 so there are no airbags. A difference of six or eight feet and I would have caught the grill of an oversized pickup truck doing 25 or 30 mph square in the driver side door. That would have been severe. Crumpled frame, vehicle rolling a few times and grinding down the road on its side or roof, probably trapped inside with a concussion, broken ribs, leg, arm, internal bruising. That could have really screwed with my tennis game.

But it wasn’t that bad so I will not dwell any further other than to say that I kept thinking how glad I was that Leika wasn’t in the car. Now all I have to do is deal with the logistical crap like how I’m going to get to work, renting a car, insurance stuff and blah blah blah.

Oh, what dreams may come.



My goodness, Gary!!!  What a horrific experience!  I’m really glad that you’re ok (other than the inevitable soreness).

I’m glad your tennis game won’t suffer too much… 🙂  Take it easy!!!

Posted by Shell on Jul 10, 2006 3:09 PM
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Gary Young

Hey there, Mishy Long.

Thanks for the comment.  It was a little freaky.  Mainly because it came out of nowhere.  It’s like your brain — the logical portion that makes plans about what you’re going to do when you get home — doesn’t accept that it’s happening until well into the event.

I wonder what the estimate for my car will be.  I had recently (after an oil change) decided that I want it to reach 300,000 miles, which would take appr. a year and four months at my current rate of road consumption.

The best laid plans….

How are you doing?  I think I may have to join in on that whole “being alive in ten years” goal.

Posted by Gary Young on Jul 10, 2006 3:35 PM
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Good luck with the car.  Someone rear-ended my older (93) car recently.  Bent the bumper, and that was enough to total it.  On the plus side, you can always keep the car anyway.  Now I have a car with a small crack on the plastic bit that covers the bumper, and whatever I spent the money on.

Posted by Rob on Jul 10, 2006 9:45 PM
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Gary Young

Hey, Rob.

Gracias for the comment.  I think I’m facing a “total” situation as well.  Not sure what to do about it, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.  I’m just hoping it’s not burning before I start crossing.

Oh.  Mixing my metaphors.  By the way, how long ago was that drainage pipe spelunking expedition of yours?  That’s quite a yarn, m’friend.  I would so not do that.  Makes me think of bats even though bats would probably not live in a drainage pipel.  But I did get the moral of that.  Three light sources.

Posted by Gary Young on Jul 11, 2006 6:43 AM
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