Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One of those moments that leaves you breathless an hour later

The sky is blue. The air is crisp and clean, albeit chilly. The traffic light, the iPod shuffling to all the good tunes including this one*. In other words, it was a wonderful morning. I was driving to work and had just made the left onto James M. Wood Blvd behind an SUV. We hadn't quite made it to the first intersection when the SUV slammed on the brakes, as did I. Barreling west on James Wood was a small green car, its driver intent on a head-on collision. By that I mean the car was heading straight for the front of the SUV with a purpose and there was no way out. There was a line of parked cars to the right and we were still too far from the next intersection to get out of the way. Had the SUV swerved left, I suspect the green car would too. I was a good distance behind the SUV, but an impact at that speed would surely knock the SUV backward into me like a croquet ball. At the very last second, and I do mean the very last second, the driver of the green car swerved back into his lane and continued on as if nothing had happened. He had a woman in the passenger seat who also seemed nonplussed. Meanwhile, SUV guy and I both sat catching our breath until a new car behind me laid on the horn. I played the "what-if" game the rest of the drive imagining the worst possibilities. As he turned left at Western, the driver of the SUV looked back at me, clutched his chest, and waved. Right back at ya, pal.

*How lovely is Beverly D'Angelo in that movie


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