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The Uninsured Truck

A four-way stop

Photo by why kei on Unsplash

One day in southern California, I set out in the car a friend lent me to go look at a used vehicle for sale. I did not get there.

I came to a four-way stop and saw a truck in the distance to my left. I was definitely there first. I had stopped. I never rolled through.

I proceeded to go straight ahead. Suddenly, I felt so tired and sleepy. How odd. I drove on, and the car was making a clunking noise. I was worried so I pulled over and opened my door. But the door would not open. I must tell my friend. So I climbed over and got out through the passenger door. I walked round and saw a dent in the door.

I was really struggling to grasp this, but climbed in the car again. As I crawled over, I saw my long hair in the rear view mirror. It was red, and blue triangle at my hairline. I looked down and my shirt was red. I needed help. I drove on and saw some young people around my age. I stopped and asked if they would phone the house where I was living. Bizarrely, they did not come nearer until one girl asked for the number.

Then men were cutting me out of the driver door. I explained I could have gotten out the other side. Next I was lying in a big van and being asked what day it was. This bothered me. They should know? What year? Who was president? I told them Wednesday (it was Tuesday). And then I was in an ER.

Someone was touching my head and it hurt. Then I heard a pneumatic drill. I started screaming. They told me they had to shave along a cut. I could not stop screaming as my PTSD was triggered. They stitched my head and face. I lay there refusing X-rays, until a message came that my friend would not take me home until I had them. I don’t recall having them.

Three friends came to me. One was the owner of the car. She was wearing a shirt over a T shirt, and made me take off my shirt and wear hers. OK, chill.

The guy friend carried me to his VW bug. I was compliant.

It turned out my friend’s car was Daddy’s car and forbidden to be lending it. So no insurance. The police told me the woman in the truck had no insurance at all.

My friend told me her Daddy’s insurance went up by $200 so I had to pay it. I told her she had disobeyed Daddy and I was the victim of her deceit. She also wanted me to pay for new spectacles as hers had been in the car. I told her I did not borrow her spectacles.

I had been hit by the truck and the car was spun around. I have no memory of the collision. I either was knocked unconscious by the gear stick, or the box of CDs on the passenger seat. Friends who went to the pound told me they could not believe I was alive. The back of the driver’s seat was ripped off.

We discovered cuts on the back of my shoulder and my left ear. I had thirty six stitches over my scalp and twelve across my right eyebrow.

I had two black eyes and bruising that made my face resemble Adam, Frankenstein’s monster. The bruising took three weeks to fade, but I had blue ‘eyeliner’ for months.

I paid my friend’s Daddy in installments until I realised it was not my bill to pay.

To this day, I feel fear at certain junctions. I breathe in when cars are at stop lights on either side of my road.

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Life is fragile…

This morning I opened a WhatsApp message. It came last night as a response to my reply to her initial message, asking how I was.

Her husband, also a friend, has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. I was shocked to the core. I’ve known him since he was 14 or younger. He is just a bit younger than me. His brother was my best friend for years.

I responded with all the love I have for them.

Life is not to be taken for granted. Especially our health, family, and friends. Money doesn’t buy happiness. Gratitude does. When we live with gratitude for what we have, the beauty around us, wonderful aromas, the songs of birds, trees, real vanilla ice-cream, the breeze on our face, the warmth of the sun, the wonder of the moon, Venus, the first star of the evening, we can know happiness.

With things as they are with the pandemic, and the regulations here, and when they are lifted it still will be risky to be in crowded places and to travel, I can’t go for a brief visit. When things are safer, I so want to see them. I saw her for coffee in my garden at the end of last summer. Then, he thought he had an injury. Now, one leg is affected, and he gets spasms and cramps. That’s how fast it has progressed. His prognosis is two and a half years.

His wife, my closer friend, and younger, will be a widow at 50.

I know people lose their spouses and partners at any age, but when it’s so close to me it seems young to be a widow.

So he has never smoked, got drunk, or lazed around. No, he just got a most cruel disease.

That’s not to say smoking and alcohol don’t do harm. They do harm suddenly. Heart attacks, strokes, emphysema, etc.

I keep wanting to post poems, but I can’t right now. I feel tired, although I actually slept until 8 this morning. I felt feverish earlier but that’s gone.

Please click like, I know you read. Only a few do now. I’m grateful for them. I welcome comments too.