The day started off well enough. Woke up, had some breakfast, decided to get a facial and luckily, got an appointment within the hour. The facial was amazing, totally relaxing. Then I got home and just couldn’t get comfortable. Come to think about it, I couldn’t get comfortable in bed the night before. Just a sense of uncomfortability. Yep. Just made that one up.
Not wanting my evening to continue that way, I thought I’d invite dad over to watch The Fifth Estate – he needed a dose of Cumberbatch. He gave me some flack about always having to come out to my place and why don’t I come over there so he can fix me some smoked bbq ribs. Fine, whatever.
I finished watching Dallas Buyer’s Club and got ready to go. Didn’t do my hair or makeup ’cause I didn’t care. For some reason, I just really didn’t want to go.
On the drive there – which is a straight shot east down Dodge and then a straight shot south on 120th – I had a stomach ache and just an all over unsettling feeling. Crossing Center Street, just a few blocks from dad’s house, I noticed a black car weaving in and out of traffic ahead of me and thought, that asshole’s going to hit someone.
Dad’s driveway leads to 120th, just past a side street, so it’s always a bit of ‘I hope the person behind me sees that I’m turning but just in case I’ll do it as quickly as I can.’
I always check my rear view mirror as soon as I put my right blinker on – checking to see if there’s someone behind me and hoping they’ll just merge into the left lane to avoid slowing down (because it’s super annoying when someone turning holds up traffic). Then right before I turn into the driveway, I check my mirror again – checking to see if the person behind me is slowing down.
This time I noticed the person behind me was not slowing down. At the last second, I might have shouted ‘fuck’ and tried to again press on the accelerator so I could more quickly get into dad’s driveway. I thought, shit, with the snow, I’m definitely going to slide well into dad’s yard.
Instead, I felt and heard a bam! behind me and then heard and felt another bam! on my left side. It’s not a biff and it’s not a crack, it’s just the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. I smelled the gunpowder from the side airbags deploying and I fumbled with my seatbelt release. Then I tried to open my door and couldn’t. I checked to see if it was unlocked, it was, and I tried again. It wouldn’t budge. I had a two-second panic and then somehow managed to grab my phone and get across the shifter and passenger seat and out the passenger side. I don’t really remember having any issue doing those things, so I can only imagine that I disapparated out of my car and on to the pavement.
I stood up slowly, making sure I was in tact. I looked up to see the white Ford Explorer/Expedition, one of the two, parked ten or so yards from where I was. The driver wasn’t out of the vehicle yet and I started over there. Then I thought, no, of course the driver is okay – they have a fucking SUV and they just slammed a MINI Cooper into a goddamn pole. I shakily opened up my iPhone camera and took pictures of the damage. Finally, the girl got out of the SUV and I turned to say, ‘I am so fucking pissed off at you right now.’ My car was destroyed. My darling MINI. Never mind the bodily harm I sustained.
She was very young and apologetic. I dialed 911 and my MINI, bless its heart, tried to put the call through its speakers via Bluetooth. Took me a few tries to change the audio source before the dispatcher picked up. I described the scene, asked the girl if she was hurt, she said no, thankfully, so we didn’t need medical.
Oh, my car. The pole hit parallel, and flush, to the edge of my driver’s door. If I would have hit a few inches into the door, I am sure that my window would have shattered and I could have hit my head on the pole and my arm would have been crushed. The back window and windshield did shatter. I noticed later that there were large chunks of glass in my driver’s side floorboards. None in my hair or coat, amazingly. The – well, here are the initial photos, anyway:
After taking the photos, I grabbed my brand new purse and noticed what was left of my Starbucks had gotten all over it. Now that I had something else to focus my anger on, I went inside dad’s house while he tried to convince the girl to come in (it was cold as fuck). I put my purse down on dad’s couch and ripped off my Gryffindor scarf to try to clean it off. Being leather/vinyl, and me being over-determined, it cleaned very easily.
She finally came inside and I remember hearing her say, “no, she’s an adult” – referring to me. I think anyone who knows me would not refer to me as an adult. I don’t even refer to myself as an adult. I still see the same 18 year old when I look in the mirror. Never mind that being seven years ago. Ahem. Thinking that was silly, I heard dad then tell her to take a breath and calm down. This is also when I learned her name. Apparently, during my purse focus, my dad, bless him, had been a human being and asked her name. I looked up and found a trembling kid standing in the doorway. I went up to her and gave her a hug.
The cop showed up, we got everyone sat down. Dad did his thing and offered her food, water, pop, whatever. He offered me a beer, knowing the girl wasn’t old enough to drink. I figured that should wait until after the cop leaves. He asked us some questions, got our information, and filled out the report. He was very nice and what stuck out to me was the entirely patient way he ‘uh-huh’d us when we both started our phone numbers with the area code.
After that, I got very frustrated. I tried my best to engage her in conversation and joke around with her, I can’t imagine how scared and traumatized she was. Dad was doing his best to embarrass me and joke around with her to make her feel better. The girl said her mother is an ER doctor/nurse and, as her mother should be proud of her for, she urged me to get checked out even though I refused. When the cop was finished with the report, I told him I’d like to have a quick check after all. At that point, the adrenaline was starting to wear off and I was really starting to feel it in my arm. I knew nothing was broken, and I didn’t think doctors would be able to do much for me besides prescribe me – at the time, incredibly desired – pain meds.
He said he could just have the squad check me out in the ambulance and I could refuse transport. Having never been to a hospital for an emergency or even anything other than a physical, it wasn’t the place I wanted to spend my night. The cop assured me that he’d call a fire truck, too, because he was sure the guys would relish the opportunity to do something. I said, yes, anything with lights and sirens, channeling my inner Ed from Shaun of the Dead. I asked the cop if the firemen would be calendar firemen or just firemen firemen, channeling my inner cougar of a mom. He said he couldn’t guarantee – sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t.
I got my wish: soon there was an Omaha Fire Department fire engine and an ambulance outside the house with their lights on. A very cute fireman got out of the engine and started up toward the door. I made sure to be the one answering the door, even in my no-hair/no-makeup done state, and tried to ramp up my charm. The cute one asked my name and then stepped toward me. He reached out and took my wrist, very Sherlock-like. I looked up at him and said, it’s elevated. Wit and charm, that’s what I’ve got.
It was elevated. A few other firemen and paramedics had stepped inside now and were all looking me over from head to toe. I wish it was because I was hot and not because they were doing their jobs, looking for sticky-out bones and blood.
They walked me out to the ambulance and I took a seat. One paramedic put that little clothespin on my finger while another asked me questions for a sheet: name, age, address, etc. A fireman stepped on and asked, did you need her pulse? as the paramedic who administered the clothespin was putting on a blood pressure cuff. So then I had the one guy holding his fingers to my left wrist, while the other was taking my blood pressure on the right arm. I don’t even remember it going stiff – the cuff, ahem – I was too busy correcting the spelling of my last name to the one filling out the sheet. The fireman taking my pulse said, yeah, F-R-I-I-S. Thanks, buddy.
It was a whirlwind of not-much-happening and soon they were telling me I’d be sore as fuck, my words, tomorrow and to use an ice pack, do I have an ice pack? No. So I got one. One helped me down off the rig and then I was walking back into dad’s house. I noticed the girl was gone. Her brother’s fiancée had come to see her since her mom was working.
The cop, however, was still there. He gave me my license/reg/ins back and handed me a sheet with the girl’s information on it (for insurance). Dad further embarrassed me, so I told the cop to learn from this situation and not embarrass his daughters. I asked if I could leave my beaten MINI on dad’s property, since it’s private and off the road. He offered to put crime scene tape around it and I pleaded with him to please do so. (He didn’t, much to my dismay). He said he’ll probably be inundated with calls about the busted car in someone’s yard and I told him to tell the callers you’re just ignoring it until it goes away. (Doubt he did that, much to my dismay).
I shook his hand and he left.
The food I’d come over for in the first place no longer sounded appetizing. Dad made sure I was still okay and we hung out while I called insurance. It was literally the last thing I wanted to fuck with after all of that, but I knew I’d feel better having gotten it out of the way. The rep asked me if there was any damage to the pole. I wanted to laugh in her face. Like, drive to wherever her office is, ask for her to come to the waiting room, and then literally laugh in her face. I just said, um, I don’t know, I didn’t check.
After that, dad said I could take his truck since he wasn’t going to be working the next day. When I was ready, he went out and started it and helped me clean out some things from my car. After that, he called my mom to see if she’d come sit with me for a while. She would. We thanked God that I was still alive and I was ready to go home.
Pulling out onto 120th Street wasn’t really something I wanted to do. I realized about four blocks away from dad’s that I was going about 25mph. I looked up into his rear view mirror and saw headlights approaching. I looked away and sped up toward home.
Couldn’t get to sleep until after 3am. Thought I’d be exhausted, but I wasn’t. I was out of breath, talking too much, another adrenaline spike. Mom suggested that I eat some protein, so I had five sunny-side-up eggs. Dad’s urban chicken eggs. They were fantastic.
I thought back over how I reacted to the crash and felt bad about what I’d said to the girl. I was angry and in shock and I could tell she was completely upset, and I yelled at her before I asked her if she was okay. I found her number on the accident report and texted her an apology. She said not to worry about it and she’s glad I’m okay. I told her I’m glad we’re both okay – it could have been so much worse.
I woke up early today, knowing I’d be getting a call from the insurance agent assigned to my claim. Sitting up in bed was tough. All of a sudden, it felt like I’d done a massive workout the day before. My legs were achy and stiff, my abs ached, my neck was sore and stiff, my left arm was sore and I could tell the bruises were worse before looking at them. It was like I ran a marathon and then fell down a flight of stairs to cross the finish line.
Besides a constant physical reminder, every time I think about my car, I get choked up. I know it sounds silly, but I truly love my car. It was brand-fucking-new, ordered and sent from Oxford just for me; limited edition Baker Street edition with special interior design and exterior color/bonnet stripes; sat for three months while I was in London; never, ever had a problem with it; I looked at the odometer on my way to dad’s, actually, and it read 8800 miles. It’s just a year old. I’ve had it a year. It’s fucking stunning and it’s perfect and it’s me and now it’s demolished.
I don’t know the totaling process, but even if it’s not totaled, I can’t imagine it would be safe to drive after repair. Not with the extent of the damage. I tortured myself last night by going on the MINI website to see if they even had my car anymore. Didn’t see it on the website. Well, it’s limited edition, so I guess I should have expected as much. I don’t know. I’ll see if MINI of Omaha can find one for me. Somewhere. Anywhere. If not.. oh. I didn’t want to have to get another MINI. I wanted this one to get me through 300,000 miles.
My heart’s broken. My bones are fine, but my heart’s broken. Just like my dear car.
Before I get any more emotional… I went to dad’s today so that I could get into a rental car. The crash, cloaked in soft snow and darkness last night, looks even more awful in the garish light of day.
Thank you, you wonderful, marvelous, magnificent, superb, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful, fantastic, tremendous, stupendous, sensational, incredibly, brilliant little bull dog of a car. And thank you to the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.
The appraiser will be around in the next couple days. Then it’ll have to be towed to MINI of Omaha. Then I’ll have to figure out the next step. As I grudgingly think about my next car, there’s no doubt at all: MINI Cooper.
As completely shitty as this situation is, not just for me, but for the girl who hit me, I’m totally thankful for a great number of things: each of us was able to walk away, we were literally at my dad’s house so we had shelter from the cold, we also had my dad – ever the host – offering us food and drink, we had time to calm down and even laugh a bit. I would hate to think what it would have been like for her, well, for either of us, really, to have had this happen A: with someone less than apologetic/cooperative/etc, and B: out on the road where it wasn’t safe to sit/stand/otherwise. Again, as completely shitty as it was, it really was as good as it could be. Because we’re both okay, and cars/bumpers can be replaced, this is just more of an inconvenience than anything else.