This morning before I could do any damage I had one of those heightened awareness moments that might have saved my life. Maybe yours as well, who knows?
After I heard from Tim that he was coming by today to take away the old Honda, I should have bagged my other errands and dedicated myself to pretending to be busy. It's fun to fool the big guy. He thinks he works hard, so I like to make him think I work hard, too.
But I'd planned out my day, and the plan included a trip to my favorite strip mall, the one with Best Buy, Office Depot and Target. I think there are some other stores there, too, but I never go into any of them. Not since Crown Books went out of business, anyway. This was mostly a business trip, to get a new "paid" stamp and other office essentials, but I thought I might find something for the fish tank at Target, as long as I was so close.
It was a great plan, and I even left the key in the Honda in case Tim should get here before I got back. It was a great plan. Then I left the house.
For whatever reason, I didn't feel in control as I was driving to the post office. It felt as if I was barely missing rolling off the road and into the drainage ditch. Every other car was pointed directly at me, and they were all going a hundred and fifty miles an hour. Even the crows were flying low across my windshield, taunting me.
I must have sat in the car in front of the post office for five to seven minutes before I dared even open the door. I don't know why it didn't seem safe for me to step out of the car, but I felt like a target in some kind of video game. I'm not sure if there was really that much traffic, or if the speed and danger were somehow magnified in my mind. All the other cars just seemed to be bigger and faster, while I was feeling slow, small and invisible.
Even then, I would have gone on to my other errands, but as I approached the street where I meant to turn left, I kept going straight. It seemed too great a chance, with everything that was happening. Maybe there was no more reason today than any other day to think I was about to get knocked sideways by a sedan or creamed by a convertible. When it started feeling inevitable, I drove on past the turnoff and headed home.