I May Be Crazy But I'm Not Blind - March 1989
Many people complain about their mothers-in-laws. Seemed like I must have lucked out because I have one that I really got along with. I liked her so much in fact that dropping her off every morning didn't seem like a chore at all. I looked forward to our conversations and this particular morning was no exception. In retrospect, if we had had a terrible relationship, I probably would not have been able to speak about the upcoming events.
I had just dropped off the grand lady and waved good-bye, as I pulled away from the curb in my sleek golden 1987 Honda Accord. It had the hidden flip-up headlights, which reminded me of the Aston Martin car in the James Bond movies. Tres cool.
I took great care to check my blind spot to ensure that that there would be no sudden surprises. Over the past decade I had learned to become a very careful driver. I'd learned my lesson about driving defensively, At the age of thirty-five I'd discovered that the being speed-racer and driving with my ego on my sleeve would probably get me killed.
I had gotten to the point of my fifteen-minute return drive where there was a three-block stretch of road, which had no intersections or turns. This trek had me driving downhill for about halfway there and then coasting uphill to the light the rest of the way. As I started down the slope, I'd given the car a bit of extra gas knowing that inertia would move me along to the end of the block. In the distance, in the opposing lane, there was this light grey Grand Mercury Marquis which was doing thirty-five down his slope of the hill, the same as me.
As I got to the midpoint, just before the hill would slope upwards, the Marquis begins to turn left in my direction. I knew there was no intersection but I quickly glanced over to my right and saw that there was a driveway. If that was where the guy was headed it didn't make any sense. Couldn't he see that I was in the way! I was in the furthest right lane, which would put me next to this driveway that he was headed for. I looked back at him and he was definitely heading for the driver's side of my car and there was no avoiding him.
I began to speed up hoping to pass him and I was able to get my driver's side further forward but other than that it was too late. I couldn't avoid the accident. The front of his car hit the side of mine.
Miraculously myself and the elderly male driver and his wife were able to walk out of our vehicles. I'd seen car crashes before but the rear left side of my car looked pretty much like a lost cause. We exchanged information and since this occurred in the days before cell phones, my intention was to walk up the hill to the pay phone and call the cops. I had only gotten a few steps away when I finally heard the explanation for our dilemma. I heard the wife angrily but quietly say to her spouse:
"I told you that you should have worn your glasses."
I was stunned but I kept on walking as if I hadn't heard. As bad as it sounds, the old gentleman had driven towards the driveway as if he couldn't see me because he hadn't.
The police arrived soon after I made the call. I quietly mentioned to the officer and then later on, loudly told my insurance representative what I had heard. On the positive side, it was deemed that I was not a fault. On the other hand, my car was totaled so how great was it to really be in the right. At least I was able to buy a shiny new maroon 1989 Accord. Made me feel a little better, anyway.
To be continued...
I love my New York home. Its diversity inspires me. I would not for the world trade my multitude of experiences there.