Dear friends and readers,
I observed Jane Austen’s birthday in two ways: I wrote a blog when it was near midnight where I remembered how on one of her natal days a beloved older friend of hers fell or was thrown off a horse, hit her head hard, and died. The memory was prompted by a beautiful elegy she wrote on another of her birthdays, and my brush with calamity on her natal day.
I still don’t know what happened: about 5 o’clock in the evening, not yet dark, I was coming up to an intersection, my GPS told me to turn left. The place is very familiar, about two minutes from my house. I believe I looked, I was not the first car through and the light was green, green arrow, green light (so if I didn’t keep looking carefully I was doing the right things). I experienced what happened next as my mind slipped and the next thing I knew I was several or many yards away in a smashed car, undid my seat belt, got out, whereupon a kind woman busdriver asked me why did I hit her bus and I said I had not hit any car and hoped I hurt no one. I was very sorry and then went back in my car and began to cry.
I phoned Caroline who was on her way home from work and she was not far away so she drove over. Yvette’s bus passed (another one) so she got out at the next step, and walked back to us. Caroline did all the talking to the police until after a while by dint of listening to them and seeing my car smashed in front and rear, leaking and trying to remember I realized:
my car had spun out of control as I turned left; I hit the curb, and then well it is a blank but apparently my car smashed into a bus with me in it and came to rest some yards down the road — I had a seat belt on so all I felt was a dull pain in my chest probably not from hitting the steering wheel but the pressure of the belt as it held me down.
Sherlock and Watson-like the police said there may have been a third car which rammed into me as I came into the intersection and the person in it drove off. There was white paint mist and splatter around my car and a parked car near my car. There was also some edge-scrape across it somewhere which could only have been done by some other car whipping round by it rapidly.
Now it may be this scenario is not true at all as I don’t remember what happened. And now a video suggests I may have fallen asleep.
Looking for a silver lining: everyone was unexpectedly kind, police too. They kept saying was what I needed to do was sit in Caroline’s car and keep warm. My car may be totalled.
I will now have to have a quiet week. I couldn’t face hospital last night. Medics did come and wanted to take me to a hospital, but I was in no emotional conditoin to endure a hospital. I keened at times. I thought how Jim was not there and somehow this all would not have happened had he been alive. I would have spent most of my day at home. I’ve been pushing myself too much.
Yesterday I ate almost nothing because I felt I didn’t have the time: I had driven Izzy 2 places, to 2 psychologists, and then back to work (where I managed to get lost immediately the GPS failed for a bit). Then I rushed home, drank some ginger ale and ate salty crackers and out I went to Cheryl, a psychologist and was with her at the Haven (blest place) talking 1 hour and 1/2. Draining but I felt much better: this time we ended on good advice and goals.
But then I had to hurry home, get Christmas presents Yvette and I had bought charitably for 2 families who get housing from Caroline’s agency. I was told I must bring them and by Monday: I didn’t want the beautiful black American Girl (Pleasant company) doll and her book I had bought to go to waste. What would I do with it? I had imagined delighting this 9 year old child’s heart (though Orwell would say I was colluding with the obstacle to true egalitarianism by doing the equivalent of buying a pink ribbon for the pony/donkey in Animal Farm).
It was terribly stressful getting there since the GPS would not program the address (I had it slightly wrong and the GPS is unforgiving, inflexible that way); so I had to follow google maps, and when I got there I at first could not find her office building. I drove round and round one block; I got out walked about in the cold, went back to my car and phoned Caroline. I then drove away in the wrong direction, phoned her again to ask where the place was, then made a U-turn, came back and finally a pictorial hint Caroline gave me (it has a black grill in front and is below the sidewalk) enabled me to see it.
I am saying that I was in no condition to drive by 5 o’clock.
I am to get a rental car and hope someone comes to get me to the place to pick it up. I will make an appointent with a Kaiser doctor though I am anything but eager to drive again today. When I left Cheryl, we said how well I was doing and I was in charge of my life … I hurt no one but myself, destroyed nothing but my own beautiful car which Jim helped me buy.
This has certainly been a very bad year for me — annus horribilus.