Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Passive-Agressive Hybrids

Saving the environment and running down neighbors. Thanks Toyota!
My neighbors are former nuns, and we get along quite well.
Two years ago, they moved here from a Wisconsin farm. They're...well...a little crunchy, but we get along very well. Years of dealing with a Granola sister has taught me how to speak the language. It's pretty easy.
Last year, after one of their 15 year old cars died, they bought a new Toyota Prius. Beautiful car, and pretty Earth-friendly. It also hurts like hell when it hits you.
Saturday...a day of rest for most teachers. My wife and son were inside asleep after a big day of playing.
I went outside to finish cleaning out the garage for Winter (who knew we'd have a heat wave).
As I walked back up the shared driveway toward my door to my house, my neighbors came home from...well...I have no idea where they were. We didn't discuss it.
The Toyota was headed right for me. I thought she was kidding, so I kept walking toward my door. It wasn't until they got closer that I saw that the driver (we'll call her Penny) wasn't looking at me, but at her roommate (who we'll call Lori).
I'd love to say that in a heroic move, I dove out of the way...but I can't.
Now, I attempted to lessen the blow by jumping up on the hood of the car as it hit me doing maybe 10 to 15 MPH.
Here's the thing: If you've ever been hit by a car...it hurts. Regardless of the speed, the sudden impact hurts. It's physics. An object at rest that is struck by an object in movement will feel or show an impact.
Let's try it another way:
Whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone...it's going to be bad for the pitcher.
I'm the pitcher.
I lay across the hood sprawled out like a dead and gutted deer. Penny screamed and slammed the brakes, but I was clutching onto the top of the hood, so I did not go flying.
"OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD!!!!" I hear screamed. "Are you ok? OHMYGOD!!!"
My pride, once again, is hurt. It was only two days before that I was hit in a car...now I was hit...by a person.
My brain's first thought was actually not the pain I was in, but the thought about the deer.
"I wonder if this is how the deer feels," I thought.

The screaming continued from inside the car, but I stil couldn't get the image of the deer out of my head.
Penny, obviously flustered, tried to get out of the car without putting it in park. Her foot came out, and the car lurched forward again. Luckily Lori moved quickly to hit the brakes and put on the emergency brake.
The pain started to creep in to my body. I could tell the my right leg took most of the damage.
"Are you ok?" Penny said to me while trying to help me off the car.
"Leg hurts...and my back is starting to as well," I told her.
Lori, meanwhile, having put the car in park, proceeded to inspect the car. "Car looks ok..." she mumbled.
Penny, meanwhile, had turned white. I think she was afraid that I was really hurt.
Being the stupid, macho guy I am (I can admit it), I told her, "I'm fine."
But I wasn't. In fact I still have a slight limp today.
What's even funnier is that my wife and son didn't know until a few hours later (when I had trouble moving around) that something had happened.
Still...days later and I can't get that image of me as the deer out of my mind. I couldn't tell you why, but it's odd.
I mention the John Glenn Principle all the time, and this speaks to that principle. I got in a car accident, and I was fine. Doing the most mundane thing (walking up my driveway, for Pete's sake), I get hit by a car.
Then again, what do I know? I'm a Prius Hugger. I could be wrong.
Namaste.

4 comments:

Arthur Willoughby said...

Leab, your recent stories make me ponder something I've long-wondered...

Do interesting things happen to writers...or do writers simply pay more attention to life's little adventures?

Regardless, you've certainly undergone some confounding stuff recently and endured it with remarkable grace. Had half this crap happened to me, I'd have changed my profile photo to a big middle-finger then deleted a couple years' worth of post.

Good luck.

Arthur Willoughby said...

Posts, not post.

Sgt Fluffy said...

Holy Crap! Hit by former nuns in a Prius..... Is someone trying to tell you something??

Jason said...

I was wondering that same thing... you've got a lot of stuff happening. Do you think you attract the drama? At any rate, I hope you feel better than "ok" soon.