I've been meaning to get my truck washed for some time now. The outside had gotten so dirty that it could have been in a commercial for that Mr. Clean spotless carwash thingy. So, after I got out of our biweekly pastors' meeting, I went to the carwash.
I pulled in, told the attendant which type of wash I wanted, and turned my keys over. Editor's Note: Just in case you were wondering, I chose the piña colada air freshener. Then, as is customary at this particular carwash, I walked around to the front and sat on a bench awaiting my freshly cleaned whip.
I was looking down, playing with my cellphone, when I heard it: the unmistakable, unforgetable sound of screaching brakes and colliding metal.
As I looked up, I caught the very last second of the wreck. A car had t-boned the front end of a white pickup truck. Then, as I watched in slow motion, the truck began moving toward me. I mean, straight toward me. It veered to my left and stopped just short of the exit to the carwash. The car wasn't so lucky. It careened off to the right into another parked car.
The driver of the truck, a man who looked to be in his mid-40's and holding his wrist, immediately got out and limped around the back of the truck surveying the damage. A voice came from the cab of his truck saying that it had just called the highway patrol, and that they would be there any minute. Yeah, Onstar doesn't seem so dumb now. I, along with about 10 others, ran over to check on the woman. Her car was missing its entire front end; headlights, bumper, grill. The hood was bent up and crumpled. The other men, in an effort to prevent any fire that might develop, began cutting the battery connection. The lady who was driving sat, slumped over and motionless, behind the deflated airbag. Some of them tried to open the car doors, but it was no use. They were stuck. A guy ran over with a slim jim and got the car unlocked.
Right then, one of the attendants tapped me on the shoulder and told me my truck was done. I motioned for him to wait one second and made a quick approach to the back of the car. Nissan Sentra Note to self: don't buy a Nissan Sentra.
She still hasn't moved...
As I drove away, I passed the firetruck that was on its way to the scene. That sound echoed through my mind. Whoa... if that truck would've been 10 feet more to the left...
Even now, a day later, the scene plays over and over again in my mind. It dwarfs everything else that's happening. Makes it seem unimportant, trivial.
It's interesting how facing the possibility of our own death, even remotely, makes us examine our life. Are our problems really as bad as we think? Are our priorities really in the right order? All good questions. I just hope that it doesn't always take a situation like this to get me to ask them...