Thursday, May 22, 2008
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music...
Hwy 80 at the Madison on ramp during rush hour (the cars stopped just for little old me!). I was driving to feed the ferals this morning, running late so got on the freeway at Madison (during rush hour!). The worst, most dangerous on ramp in America. You know I hate it and have posted about it. I was doing fine, found a space to move to the next lane (I have to move over 3 lanes believe it or not, just to get to the slow lane for Hwy 80 while everyone's doing 70 or 80! I know that sound odd, but it's not. Hwy 80 splits into 3 lanes for The Capital City Freeway and Hwy 80, so there are 6 or 7 lanes, plus the commuter lane. I'm laughing so hard!!! You have to see it to believe it.), did and the next thing I remember is a black SUV or 4x4 coming into my lane and cutting me off. I didn't want to die, so quickly swerved to get back into the lane I had just exited because my space was still available, only to learn even more quickly that as I did so traffic in that lane stopped or slowed and I plowed into the car in from of me. The whole event happened in a matter of seconds, but you know the feeling of going through something in slow motion. It was horrible and terrifying. This day sucks. Everyone's fine, but our car is dead. The body shop has told the insurance company it's "totaled." The repairs are more expensive than the car is worth (consider that just fixing a little ding in the front fender by some idiot who ran into or car while parking his a few years ago cost the insurance company over $1,600, I didn't even want to know the estimate for all of this damage. Yup, I covered my ears while Rob was told. Our car died today and that's sad. We love her. She didn't deserve this.
Our baby's back home to await her fate after being declared terminal. The body shop owner said to bring her home and get everything off that matters because when the insurance company claims her she's going to the scrap yard. The tires are brand new and worth a ton. He said to get them off and replace them with some cheap crap! We will.
That's all that happened to Joanna's car. That's it. How can a Mustage kick the ass of of BMW? Mine's all steel, her's is all plastic, but she said "it has this spingie sort of stuff under the bumper!" Apparently.
Joanna was terrific. I was shaking like a leaf, could barely write my phone number or take down her insurance info. She was so kind and thoughtful and the voice of calm. I remember thinking, how could I have hit an angel? Seriously. I have the best luck and the worst luck. Horrible accident, amazing plaintiff! We're out in the land of death trying to take photos with the traffic copter flying over and cars backed up to Oregon and laughing because we were confident we were going to be killed by some idiot! Then we realized my car was not going anywhere and she refused to leave me alone to wait for AAA. I told her she didn't have to wait with me and she said and I quote "I would never leave you here alone." I wanted to cry, but was shaking so hard I couldn't figure out how to do both. She's the sort of woman you want at the scene of an accident. I'm the sort of woman you pray not to hit or be hit by. Really. I would not want me at the scene of an accident or a crime. I'm a pathetic mess. God I would love to have seen Traffic Pulse 3 this morning. Robyn, what did we look like? Was traffic backed up to Roseville!? We moved away from the cars after taking photos, making calls, etc., for safety and climbed the hill to await AAA. We were laughing really hard about something and a CHIPS officer arrived on scene (CA Highway Patrol for those of you living in other counties). He was a great guy. He pulled up behind my car, and I swear to GOD looked up at us and motioned with his index finger to come on down off the hill. That was too funny. We laughed and obeyed. He asked if we were both okay. We said "Yup." He asked if the cars could be moved, we said "Not mine, but her's." He said, "Let's take a look because it's too dangerous to be here." He asked me to get in the car and turn the wheel every which way. I did as instructed. He said "your tire's going to be hitting mostly plastic and a bit of metal, nothing serious, it'll just be loud, but don't worry. I want you off the freeway because it's too dangerous here, you know that. I want you to pull out and take the Watt exit. Stay in the slow lane and don't do more than 40 and I'll follow you. I'll have my lights on and you'll be safe. Just do exactly as I tell you. Make a left at the exit, go over the overpass and pull into Strarbuck to wait for AAA." I wasn't able to get out of the car to hug Joanna, so we held hands and in that embrace knew we were bonded for life. We were lucky to be alive. I will never forget that moment for as long as I live. Nor her. I do believe there are angels on earth. I do. It's funny you know because I told her I was on the way to feed the ferals at the park in Natomis and she was so kind. And then we discussed (well, not really "discuss" because we were shouting too loud to hear one another over the traffic!) the up and coming freeway construction and realized we go the same way, get off at the same exit and her office is directly across from the park, we couldn't stop laughing. It is such a small world.
I was so visabily upset I didn't feel as if I gave Joanna all the correct insurance info, so promised to call her within hours. Rob actually ended up calling her at the office. She's an accountant. Makes sense. She's sensible as hell. Rob's first question was "Are you okay honey?" She said "Yes, I'm fine. Well honestly, my back in starting to hurt, but don't worry, I won't sue." Rob's a lawyer, so you know the hair on his back stood up and he doesn't even have hair on his back. Me. Nope. She's a wonderful woman and I'm just worried about her. I don't even care if she sues. I don't. I hit her car so hard and she had no clue what was coming. If she needs the money, she can have it. I feel so guilty. Rob said "I don't want you to talk to her and I won't accept her call(s). I thought "How could you do that to her?" I know her and she is one of the most beautiful women I've ever met. I'm going to call her tomorrow, just to check in to see if she's feeling a bit better. I imposed on her in such a horrible way today and she embraced me desite that. I could have killed her and we both know it, so I would never pretend she doesn't exist just because she might sue. I just hope she feels okay and her back doesn't hurt too much.
Joanna and I held hand for what felt like a long time, and then the cop got on his motorcycle and it was time to pull into traffic. Hummmmmmmmm. I realized I was in shock. I couldn't stop shaking , the car was loud as the tire hit against whatever, and traffic stopped just for me. What a little gift! I had a police escort a mile and a half to Starbucks. When he knew I realized where I was and where I was going he gave me the "thumbs up," and I pulled into the parking lot to wait for AAA with my once beautiful BMW. As desperate as life seemed, I heard some birds singing in the trees. And that made me happy.
I called Rob right after the accident to alert him and ask that he please be at the house when I arrived because I needed to get to the park to feed the ferals. I was hours late and knew they'd be hungry. When the tow truck driver dropped me off, I wasn't disappointed. I was still shaking like a leaf, but got in Mom's car and headed for the park. The tow truck driver was a big woman. She intimidated me at first and didn't seem too nice, but when we drove home we talked and laughed and she was terrific. When I got out at the house she said "I suggest you go in and have a good shot of whiskey." I said "I don't drink whiskey, nor do I have any." She said "Well ya gotta do something cuz you're a f*&#^%* wreck." We shook hands and laughed really, really hard. I'm still laughing just typing the words. It's one of those moments that will stay with me forever. It was too funny.
Got to the ferals, got back home, Rob dealt with the insurance company and rental car company and body shop. I never stopped shaking. Never. I felt like I was in another universe and sick to my stomach to boot. I realize typing this, I haven't eaten since breakfast. I finally stopped shaking around midnight. It's been a long, hard day and here I sit about to face another one. Hummmmmmmmmmm. This has been the year of my discontent. And yup, I'm still numb and tingling from head to toe! My standing appointment with the doctor is now Tuesday at 3:10!
Love you all. Don't worry. I'm fine. Life is just a bit crazy for some reason.