Last night, Daniel and I attended rehearsal for Hay Fever and then stayed a bit for the after party. We’d have loved to stay longer, but it needed to be an early night for us so we could relieve our new babysitter by 9:30. We left in good spirits. I snagged a cookie as we were leaving (a roadie) and I was happy. It was my second rehearsal since coming down with the plague (I didn’t actually have the plague, per se) and it felt great to be out of the house and with friends.
Our rehearsal space is a quick jaunt from our house. We like to say that the Taylor’s are our neighbors even if they don’t live next door, exactly.... ten minutes is practically down the block. Easy. We were right on schedule for walking in our door at 9:30 when we hit a red light. We stopped (because that's what you do at red lights: STOP) and chatted very relaxed and cheerfully as we waited for our green. I remember thinking it felt like a long red light considering there wasn’t really anyone else out when all of a sudden we were hit from behind.
It was jarring. It was shocking. Daniel had left a cushion in front of us so we didn’t hit the truck directly in front of us. We both yelled. I started crying. My neck and back immediately felt hot with throbbing pain. Part of me braced myself to be hit again, but thankfully, there was nothing. We just sat there and Daniel kept telling me we were OK. The light turned green and the truck in front of us went on their way. I think Daniel got out of the car and told the person that hit us that we’d get through the intersection and then exchange information.
Daniel pulled onto the side of the road and got out to talk to the other driver. I was shaking and crying, but I reached for my phone to text a friend/cast member. Silly, I know, but I was in shock. I wanted my friends who we had just left (and who I wished I was hanging out with at that very moment) to know what had happened. And then I got out of the truck. I wanted to see who had hit us this time. I wanted to know what the hell their problem was. The light was red. Why hadn’t they stopped or slowed down? What the hell is wrong with this town and their lack of attention to red lights?!
The girl who hit us didn’t seem phased. She was pretty and stylishly dressed and in a hurry. I think she apologized, but I wasn’t feeling particularly forgiving. Daniel did most of the talking. I walked to our truck and looked for bumper damage ( I didn’t see any then, but today we can see a slight ding). I pushed down on our bumper, half expecting it to fall into the dirt, but it didn't. I walked back to her BMW SUV (her father’s fiance’s, actually) to look for damage. Her license plate was bent and I pointed out some marks on the left corner of her front bumper, “Oh, that’s from another accident. I’m a great driver.” She might have giggled, or I might be projecting what an idiot I think she is. Either way, this was no biggie to her. It was a biggie for us. When all was said and done, Daniel and I walked back to our truck and I yelled out "Drive safely!" I was tempted to add "idiot" or something worse, but I refrained.
I think having gotten through our accident two years ago, I’d told myself we’d just never have another. That felt better and sort of got me more comfortable with driving because how could we be put through that again, right? It was better than what I’d previously felt: The world (Bakersfield especially) is full of inconsiderate, asshole drivers and we’re constantly putting ourselves and our children in danger every time we get in the car. I had been coping and I've made progress in the last two years. I had become less afraid to drive short distances from our house. I told myself that I needed to be aware while I was driving, but that there was no sense being afraid while I waited at intersections. I told myself it was normal to have anxiety when my vehicle was moving, but that the likelihood of another accident was slim to none - I certainly didn’t expect to get hit while STOPPED at a red light.
Anyway. I am frustrated about last night. I’m angry at the college girl who hit us. I know accidents/fender benders happen all the time - I just feel like she had a blatant disregard for anyone else on the road and that once she did hit us, she was indifferent about the whole thing. We became an insignificant obstacle in her Friday night plans - no harm, no fowl - moving on.
My neck and back and hips are killing me and I had too many nightmares last night. Lucky for me, they were only dreams and I’ve got kind friends and family who understand how this affects me. Oh, and I’m very grateful knowing I have a friend who just happens to be a massage therapist. Now it is time for some healing, I don’t need this right now (or ever again, thanks).