About Last Night

| DECEMBER 20th|

Breathing in the acknowledgement of continued misfortune, I widened my hands on the rental car wheel, ten and two abruptly transformed into nine and three. I simultaneously paired my grip to the expanse of the turn. I felt the wheels shift seamlessly under my feet. Headlights from behind briefly befuddled my gaze. The car was following, though, which was all that mattered.

I fumbled as I switched the engine off, the cabin light illuminating my shaky hands.

I exited.

The driver’s side door thumped as I pushed it shut. Heels clicking pavement, I made my way to the other vehicle. A petite, scrub-adorned brunette met my gaze. Her eyes were glossy, dispirited. Her words cracked, attempting to combat the urge to cry.

That’s when it happened.

She spoke, “I am so sorry.”


| DECEMBER 15th|

It was excruciatingly cold. My hot breath formed puffs of frozen mist as I breathed in the morning air. Each breath was a shock to my system but I welcomed the alertness, the refreshment of it all. The engine shuttered awake, almost aware of the drop in temperature. I turned the heat on high while disk jockeys rambled about road closures, rush hour and abandoned vehicles. Twisting my body backwards while sitting in the front seat, I attempted to plug my phone charger into the only working outlet behind the center console.

Feet pushing the supposed floor board, purse strap dangling from my wrist dangerously close to the gear shift, I pushed with more force trying to muster the strength despite my contorted body. I was determined to plug my phone charger into the outlet, if it killed me.

That’s when it happened.

Glass shattered, metal bent, my heart sank.


| DECEMBER 28th |

Hot tea and lemon was still present on my tongue. I was happy with my late night beverage choice as it provided the appropriate amount of spryness for the jaunt home. Twenty minutes in, as I neared the halfway mark, the dashboard alerted me that tire pressure was low.


I felt no bump, no brief loss of control, no loud hissing sound. Searching to safely escape the immense darkness, I drove a bit longer. Something did feel off. I needed to find a safe place. I needed to look.

That’s when it happened.

“Oh, God.” I stopped.



In my car, parked in the driveway, I sat.

I let the tears come. I let the wave of sadness, exhaustion and frustration take over. I needed the emotional reprieve. It’s funny to view sobbing as a respite but I so needed to cry. I needed a brief vacation from tough, quick-witted, busy single mom, dedicated breadwinner, caring pal and potential romantic companion. I needed it all to stop.

It was an at-fault, single car accident, a teensy fender bender and almost-tire-blow-out over the span of two weeks’ time, which threw me off my game. Fortunately no one was hurt in any incident. Unexpected money was most definitely spent, time lost and daily life complicated but it could have been so much worse.

Then it happened.

I remembered what “worse” really felt like.



She repeated, “I am so sorry.”

“Are you okay?”

Her eye’s left my gaze. “Yes, I am just very tired. I worked a double.” She seemed defeated and exhausted, staring at the pavement.

I told her that I was in a rental car and needed to ensure all boxes were checked. There was no damage caused from the light tap she imposed on my bumper and we were both physically okay but went through all necessary motions, nonetheless. We walked back to our cars to escape the cold for a few minutes and make a couple phone calls. I could tell she was crying. I could feel her distress in my bones. I have been her, recently.

I tapped on her window and she reappeared, standing, in front of me.

“Really, don’t stress. This is nothing. You should see the accident I had a few days ago.” I showed her the picture, the aftermath of a series of unfortunate incidents. I turned to face her again. Accidents happen. Life happens. Sometimes we all need a break. We need to feel together rather than alone.

“You should go home and rest. I will text you, if anything comes up.” I strengthened my gaze and let a hint of authoritativeness enter my tone, “nothing will come up, though.”

She nodded.

I looked her in the eyes and calmly spoke, “okay, if it is alright, I am going to hug you now.”

With my last proclamation, stranger-to-stranger, we embraced. I felt the tension leave my body and I could tell she relaxed, too. Maybe this tiny bump wasn’t an accident after all. Maybe we were both being reminded that we needed to slow, that work and home would still be there if we took a few moments to breathe.

Then it happened.

We breathed.


| NOW |

Even though lessons were learned the past several days, I still experienced a buildup of great emotion. I spent the good part of last night in tears but self-soothed. I wrote, I rested and let myself feel the emotions I had been trapping inside.

The accidents didn’t occur in a vacuum; events were intractably inter-connected. Complexities presented due to a domino effect, of sorts. Life is perfectly imperfect that way.

I didn’t wake this morning with a grandiose idea of all the great things to come, that I was now due some kind of reciprocal get out of jail free card because I had a tough run. No, I woke with an understanding that life goes on, that my only choice is to continue living this beautiful mess.

However, I am contemplating a driver or a vehicle-exorcism.

That’s all for now…