Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time Stands Still

It was about 5:17 pm on Wednesday afternoon. I was on Piney Orchard Boulevard headed home in my truck after E-day.

The day had been a fast moving day--broken up by a doctors appointment and work. I had been busy, but I always look forward to E-day.

I was daydreaming a bit about the evening at home with Chris and the events planned for the next day. I was doing about 50 mph in a 45 mph zone and beginning to get into the drive.

Then it happened. Time stood still for a short amount of time.

A green Mustang convertible with a white top, for some unexplained reason turned in front of me attempting to get onto Old Waugh Chapel Road.

Emergency stop!

Collision imminent!

The anti-lock brakes were shaking under my foot. The green Mustang loomed larger and larger in my windscreen and I began to think about the looming impact and wondering if the car in front of me would at least accelerate a bit.

I aimed for where the car was, but stayed in my lane and chose not to perform some heroic maneuver and potentially roll my truck. The truck held its line--straight as an arrow--so swerve, no hesitation.

I thought about how the airbag would feel exploding into my chest as the seatbelt secured me to the truck.

I heard the squealing of the tires of the Mustang as the driver recognized the impending collision and mashed the accelerator to begin moving ever so slowly from my path.

I wondered if the truck would be repairable.

I thought about the engine being in my lap when it was all over.

And then--it became clear that the vectors were going to miss each other. The Mustang cleared the intersection a hair breath before my truck got to where the car had just been, and I released the brake so the guy in back of me would not rear-end me.

I thought for a moment about chasing down the Mustang driver--and giving them a good tongue lashing. But decided against it.

I hit the accelerator and got back up to road speed, said a prayer of thanks and tried calling my wife.

I know time stands still in such situations. How else could I have done so much and thought of so much in what amounted to the blink of an eye? I was on a bit of an adrenalin high.

But I was unharmed and not involved in a serious accident--and continued on my way home reflecting on the circumstances and reactions of those short seconds.

And the traffic around me continued on unabated and probably unaware of my brush with disaster.

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