Monday, March 7, 2011

The Crash

I sat up, jerked by the impending impact of the vehicle we were in and the one that was in front of us.

Somehow, before I knew it I was over my friend in the front passenger seat. Hovering. I was too late, but I was there anyway.

There were screams. Did they happen before or after we hit? No idea.
I looked down and had no idea how I got there. Up front. Over my friend. Arms a shield. Protecting - she teased me later on, in the days we could tease one another about this.

A contact lens disappeared. I found my glasses in the mess. Safe in their case. Somehow I tore the other contact out, threw it aside so I could see again.

I felt pain, but wasn't sure where it was coming from.

The driver? A mess. I could barely see her eyes. I reassured her. Small whispers between us. I think I held her hand for a moment.

People started crawling into the van from the back door. Two of us, the least affected, were helping them. Handing them bags? We crawled out, and someone carried our friends out of there. One was holding her face.

"My nose. I think I broke my nose."

"You're OK. It's going to be OK," I told her.

"A mirror. Can I have a mirror? I need to see."

"You don't need to see. There's nothing to see." I sat beside her. "It's okay. You're going to be okay."

"Ang, I need a mirror." I shook my head. I had no idea if her nose was broken, but she didn't need to see her face right now.

Cars passing by. People stopping. Suddenly seeing a car of our friends approach. The chills. The shivering. The fear. The look on their faces. Their eyes as they approached. Smiling at them. Reassuring? Something ...

Sirens blaring. Paramedics there, suddenly. Waving them down.

Directing them. Bringing them to friends with more hurt, more pain. Visible pain.

I can still see it today.

Paramedics moving quickly. Someone approaches. He is really cute. Damn, that hurts. He's still really cute. A few laughs. An ambulance ride. My first. It's interesting in there.

I get to the hospital and find out I actually need stitches. My ankle is cut so deep and bleeding pretty badly. I never saw it. I never knew.

Imagine you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to tell them about yourself. Instead of reciting a laundry list of what you do or where you're from, please give us a scene from your life that best illustrates your true self. This is an exercise in showing, not telling. You need to show us why this particular moment defines you, or why you want someone to know this truth about you. Be descriptive without bogging us down in extraneous details. Word limit is 600. This is to help you self-edit and to make it easier for us to read you.

I am not especially thrilled with this post. I like it, I feel that it shows a huge part of who I am, who I have always been, and at the same time it's giving you insight to an incident in my life that shaped some parts of me, as well, but at the same time I feel unsettled. Maybe it's the topic I chose? Maybe it's the way I flashed back? I feel as though it is missing something. Critiques and feedback are welcome. I only ask that you do so respectfully with this piece, as it is something I have never written about before for the public eye to see. Thank you.


  1. I love that in the moment, with all that uncertainty and chaos, you knew that showing your friend her face would cause more harm ... it really stuck with me,
    your concern for her over the pain you should have been feeling ...

  2. I think you really captured the event well. It was unsettling to me reading it, as though I could feel the fear and uncertainty through your words.

  3. Accidents happen so fast and are so incredibly scary. They really are defining moments in our lives... accidents can forever change how we drive.
    I know this first hand. I rolled my wheel drive truck (4 times) 2 winters ago when I hit a small drift. It's forever changed the way I drive and think about driving in winter.

  4. I think its a beautiful expression of your concern and compassion for others. Just remember to take care of yourself in the same manner.

    Beautifully written.

  5. Wow. I was right there with you. You painted the scene well. It sounds like you're the sort of person who is good to have around in a crisis. I agree with Patty, folks like you have to remember to be good to themselves too.

  6. I thought you did a good job of describing the accident. Maybe you could have given more insight into how you felt. I almost felt like you were watching the whole thing unfold. Glad you were ok. #TRDC

  7. I thought it was really good- Especially about the part about you protecting your friend with your arm and then by not letting her see her face.

  8. I really liked this, both the writing and you.

    Moments like these are when our true selves come out because there's no time to think, only to act, and those actions show who we are.

    It's my first time at your blog, so I guess this was a good post for me to meet you with -- just as it was intended to be.

    And I'm also a NY gal who found herself in NC, although I didn't stick around that long.

  9. It's funny, the things you remember in detail and the ones you forget... I guess now I know why you are anxious about driving!

  10. What a scary thing to have happened. I'm glad that you had the presence of mind about you to keep everyone calm.. panic in those types of situations is never beneficial to anyone!

  11. what a scary scene, and so vividly recalled!! Wow. I felt like I was right there. Well done!

  12. I don't see that it's missing a thing. It showed so many facets: your protectiveness, your concern, your ability to hold your head in a crisis, your calm reassurance, your lack of self.

    This was an amazing post. I read it with wide eyes and shallow breaths hoping no one was seriously injured.

  13. I don't think it's missing anything. I know exactly what kind of person you are from this post. You have written it beautifully, and the fact that you didn't want your friend to see her battered face is a testament to your cool-headedness in the time of crisis.

    I really enjoyed the flashbacks you added and the way you weaved it all together. Very well done. You had me in the moment from the very beginning.

    --The Drama Mama

  14. Wow, this is such a wonderfully written post! I could visualize the scene, not that I wanted to.

    I loved that you wouldn't show your friend her face. Also, that you thought the paramedic was cute.

    nicely written!

  15. How scary that must have been!

  16. A cute paramedic never hurts a situation like that. :)

    I think you described the situation well & that it describes you well. :) Very nicely done!

  17. Oh! That sounds So scary!! I hope everyone was ok.

  18. You told this well- it was very gripping and made me feel like I was right there in the moment!


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