I was thinking about an episode of a show I had recently seen. A favorite show – The Gilmore Girls. I’ve seen every episode around 100 times, (give or take a few). The soundtrack came on my Spotify while on my commute home and it made me think of a particular show. I was about to hum along when I saw the world spin around me behind a panel of shattered glass.
Breathe and relax were the only commands from my conscious. I wondered if I was going to die – if I was waiting for my neck to break or to be impaled by something, to have my skull crushed. I finally came to a stop and I closed my eyes. I opened again. Someone was pulling on my door and couldn’t get it open. I moved my toes. I moved my fingers. I kept breathing.
“I think I’m okay!” I yelled to the myriad of voices outside the car. I crawled over to the passenger seat and opened the passenger door. My car looked like a crumpled tin can. The color of airbags reminded me of hospital scrubs. I looked at my hands, my legs, my arms….there’s no blood.
“Is everyone okay?” I called out. Nobody answered. I walked up the hill and a state trooper walked towards me.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
“I believe so.” I said.
“Can you go get me your license and registration please?”
I nodded. I walked back down the hill. I walked through the brush to get back to the passenger side and pulled the registration and proof of insurance out of the glove compartment. I couldn’t find my purse. The car was a mess. Why do I have this much stuff in my car? I found a button from my birthday party over the summer, several books, the many chapsticks I had lost over years. Where was my purse? I found it after I had opened up the back hatch. The hinges screeched. I walked back up the hill to the trooper and handed him my paperwork.
“What happened?” he questioned as he took my documents.
“I was coming home from work. She pulled out and hit the back of my car and it turned me into oncoming traffic and then….then I just started spinning.”
“Where would you like your car towed?”
“Do you have a preference.”
“I live in Cuba. I have to call my dad.”
I looked back at my car. I named it Stanley. I was going to name it Stella from ‘A Street Car Called Desire’, (So I could yell “Stella”! If anything should go wrong.) But I figured most people name their cars after women so I went for Stanley instead. Stan had taken me three times to Philly, to Pittsburgh, countless trips to Moss Lake and Letchworth State Park. Jon borrowed Stan to go to classes and work. Stan carpooled cast members, totes of costumes, and garage sale treasures. Memories of roadtrips, spilled coffee, beads from when my necklace broke, and the weird smell from the heater. Stan was a crumpled tin can, and I walked out without a scratch. Thanks friend.