Saturday, January 26, 2013

Of Broken Brains and Messy Chains

Background: My mind tends to tumble down hills. I have to race to catch up with it.

Story: I rear-ended a minivan the other week (that, at least, is fact - no embellishing to be done, thank you, brain). Inside the minivan, through chance, or not, as your perspective dictates, was a pregnant woman. Not comfortably pregnant, as in if-she-had-the-baby-today-it-would-arrive-squalling-and-healthy, but dicily so: twenty-five weeks pregnant. Her mother, wringing hands, informed me of this before leaning forward to her daughter in the front seat and peppering the girl with a spray of worried questions: "You did have your seatbelt on? Does anything hurt?"

Interjection: The minivan suffered no more than a dent and scrape to one corner of its bumper. I wasn't going fast. I'd even applied my brakes, only (obviously) not quickly enough.

Story, Redux: And yet her mother feared the loss of the baby. As did my God-forsaken brain, which was already, not five minutes after metal's contacting metal, broadcasting images to me of this girl cradling her stillborn child. We exchanged insurance information. No one thought to call the police. So I continued on my way to pick up my younger son at his school. Because one does. Continue.

Later my brother talked me down. Somehow he managed to recast the incident as one in which I was damn near heroic. What if, he speculated, the sun had sliced into someone else's eyes, someone not nearly as conscientious and attentive as I? Why, he continued, his voice growing more animated by the word, she might have lost that baby after all! I blinked. This way of shaping things happy is utterly foreign to me. Implausible, too, I felt, but if nothing else I was comforted by a brother's love for his sister on full display in those outlandish words.

Denouement: Of course the woman and her baby were just fine. This post would be a wholly different creature had it not been so.

Still, the accident seems only the latest instance of life's way of splitting the infinitive. There's always something intervening, and that thing is usually messy and complicated. At least it is for me. Welcome to my life. Welcome to my new blog.

14 comments:

alejna said...

As always, your words swirl around in my head, making me think of many things. My mind works like yours, in many ways, always running down dark paths. I think it's something I inherited from my grandmother. (You remind me that I have more stories I want to tell,)

I am happy that the denouement is uneventful. I am sorry that you had to go through so much distress.

I am also very happy to find you writing. And now I'm going to wistfully reflect on your choice of blog names.

Sarah Piazza said...

Better than going wistfully to reflect, Alejna.

Or is it?

Melissa said...

Car accidents suck. Having your writing back does not. I think the balance in the good, in this case. :)

Kyla said...

K is like your brother. N is like you. Glad everything turned out fine.

Emily said...

It's so wonderful to now see you blogging again! I'm looking forward to daily reading.

Janet said...

Your brother is awesome. So are you. Accidents happen to everyone.

V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

I went more than 40 years of my life without ever being in an accident, then I was in five in five years, none of them my fault, and none with serious injuries. Despite that, I have so much angst and unease in the car, whether I am the driver or passenger. For me, there are no minor accidents.

sullimaybe said...

Joining your legions of fans to say, "Welcome back to blogging."

Mary Gilmour said...

I once rearended the car in front of me because I was looking sideways at a clock on a building to check the time, having forgotten my watch.
The building? the Peace Tower. Go figure.

Love your new title, oh woman of infinite variety.

Magpie said...

Hello, you. Happy to see you here.

JDB said...

The further we go in life, the more we notice the errors we have made and the possible consequences. I didn't notice my mistakes as much in early life, and I had people who would help me out of my situations. Now I'm more in avoidance mode, but sometimes it seems I have lost "the edge".

I'm glad to see you are keeping your edge by writing again. You are an encouragement to all of us to stretch out and risk mistakes, but reap the rewards.

Thank you and cheers!

Christine said...

i'm glad you're back, writing. you have a sweet, good brother. and, remember, they are called accidents because they are totally unintentional. it just happened, and now it is done. xo

Emily said...

I knew you wouldn't be able to completely stop. (I'm just not going to be able to leave a comment here without splitting an infinitive. Which is better than splitting one's pants. That last was for Alejna.)

Elizabeth Dahl said...

An appropriate beginning since the journey is everything. We've been missing our trail guide. Onward!