This isn’t the road I was on when it happened. This is the road I rode by bike after I got home to calm my nerves.
Christmas had started fine. More than fine was prepping my older teenage kids that we were taking consumerism to an all time low this year. I decided this not because I had to but because I was sick of meaningless stuff feeling a space.
We opened presents late and calmly. Everyone liked what they got.
Slowly I baked a cake and got together personal items to go down South a bit where we yearly spend Christmas with a 27 person odd group of alternative type friends, all ages.
It’s satisfying mostly because conversation is interesting, we are in the country surrounding by large trees and the food is deliciously plentiful.
Unfortunately I burn my right hand. I take the teapot off the wood burning stove and go to the sink to fill it. The teapot is hot hot from being on the stove empty so when I put the water in, it streams furiously and burns by hand. Though not dangerous, it is painful. Years ago when blowing neon, I learned to put a hand in cold water if burned. Despite everyone’s well intentioned advice for different methods, I keep changing the water to cold (no ice) until finally when I take my hand out, it no longer hurts. For me this cessation stops at 3 am., long after we’d finished with desert and caroling.
Tired, after breakfasting with more interesting slow conversation, Me and the teenagers set out on the long country driveway to the road to the highway home.
It happened on the highway. 880 north is as ugly as any with six lanes each direction. I didn’t see him in the lane next to me. He was in my blind spot and I wasn’t paying serious attention. All of a sudden I brushed up (at 60 mph) against the car on my right while starting to go in that lane.
There was nothing jarring or dramatic about it. However, it was still an accident, It took me a little while to figure out where to get off and talk as I knew we must. I was in front of him and pulled off on a large shoulder off the next exit. I stop. He stops behind me.
I get out and say, “How are you?” Looking at his truck which has ladders on top and miraculously, no damage.
He says, “Fine. How are you?” I say “Fine.. well a little a little scraped up but I’m not going to do anything about it…. It was my fault, right?”
He says, “Right.”
I say, “How about we give each other a hug, and wish each other a Happy New Year”
He says, “Okay” so we do that.
Then I hold his hand for a moment and say, “Thank you for being a person.”
It was kind of a stupid thing to say but that’s what came out. I think he knew what I meant.
I walk back to my car and get in. I wave as I drive away.
I continue until there is an intersection where I can turn around and get us back to 880. There is a beggar with a sign at the intersection as the cars stop. I give him a five. I can afford to.