The minivan drove hard enough into me to completely depress one of the wheel wells of my car, enough that it couldn't be driven. It was therefore also hard enough that, for one skipped heartbeat, I watched my thermos cup float from my lap, with coffee rising from it. I watched my car seem to inch the three feet into the car in front of me--the thought I had first: "I thought I stopped...I guess I could have stopped a little more effectively." My second thought was realizing that the car behind me had not stopped. A sense of utter despair that I had so misjudged my actions as to cause such a movement quickly gave place to a bewilderment and bemusement that it would be happening at all. I remember that it also seemed physically much more gentle upon my person than the force of it warranted.
The whole experience struck me so sideways that I remained in my car, in a surreal daze and feeling uninjured, until after both the person in the car ahead of me and the car behind me had got into the street and asked if I was all right. I realized that perhaps I was behaving all injuredly, so I got out to assess the damage with them.
Of the three cars involved, mine was the only one unable to drive more than ten feet to get off the street. I suppose that is what happens when a minivan and a Ford Escort make a Toyota Camry sandwich. Le sigh. The only thing I really thought about right after is how my phone had strangely completely disappeared during the moment of everything moving all ways. I spent ten minutes looking for it.
Fortunately, the crashy-wash happened a block from school, which is where I'd been headed. After waiting the hour and fifty minutes till all the police reports had been filed and all the insurance peoples contacted and all the towing companies coordinated with, I got to class a half hour late, and missed the duct tape project...whatever that was...I wanted to know. Le sigh again. Missing the duct tape project feels most tragic looking back. That and the distress the whole thing caused the mother of two in the Escort in front of me and the seeming-pleasant woman who had a lapse in intelligence and caused the whole thing. They were both way more shook up emotionally than I, though I think potentially I'm more physically shook. My car softened the impact to the car in front, and the lady behind seemed okay. I don't know. We'll see.
Anyway, that was yesterday's adventure. Since then, I've been in this sort of low-energy, hyper-aware, low-thought stage. I believe it's the tiniest of hints at a taste of shock and of what would, in a real life situation, be called PTSD. I feel like abstract thought is a bad idea, so my imagination is forcing itself outside my head. Things are in sharper detail than usual, and I have fewer trains of thought looping around my head. I believe that it's an extended fight or flight state, and also a coping mechanism for trauma. The memory is stressful, and abstract thought is where the memory is, therefore my brain is avoiding abstract thought.
It is most interesting.
I'm okay, by the way. Insurance people keep calling me. They're polite when you're the dude who got bumped.
Found my phone too.