That Sliding Doors Moment

I just got hit by a car. I was crossing the street by my house to go to the nearby taco place to pick up dinner. Suddenly, a car went for a fast left turn and collided with me in the crosswalk. I didn’t realize what was happening until I suddenly rolled up onto the hood of a car, then tumbled down onto the pavement after it slammed on the breaks. I could hear people me around shouting while I laid on the pavement in shock. The car began to move as if ready to drive away, but I heard a woman say “Oh hell no!” and block it with her car. Two more people (one guy in the southbound lane, and a pedestrian) also stopped and made sure I was OK, which gives me faith in the goodness of humanity. In outdated Lost fanatic terminology, I’m feeling pretty Team Jacob.

After I assured everyone that I was alright and could walk home and didn’t need medical assistance, they dispersed (I know, I know, I should’ve filed a police report. But I was alone and felt OK and just wanted to go home and the driver felt terrible and I knew that he’d learn from this experience).

That moment, though.

One minute, you’re walking across a street you cross every day with tacos on your mind, and the next you’re on top of a car’s hood and the whole thing moves in a flash of a second and you think to yourself, what is happening I  might die now. Then you find yourself on the pavement, bruised and scraped up but otherwise fine and totally alive. A friend of mine recently referenced the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors as a good example of looking at the two very different paths life can take (he loves that movie). Quite honestly, I’ve ached just as bad after a wicked block in a roller derby game. But in that moment, with passersby freaking out over having witnessed you bounce on pavement, you think about how else that moment could’ve gone. My head didn’t come close to touching the road; I bore the brunt of the impact on my left calf (where I think the bumper initially struck me) and my right elbow and right hips and ribs, where I landed on the street. I scraped up my elbow pretty good but that was my only instance of road rash; otherwise, it’s just bruises. But lying there on the street, I was OK, when my other Gwyneth-self could be dead. All in a split second, all because of a mundane taco-run. YOLO, you guys.

 

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