I rear ended a Toyota years ago. I was driving the highway, John Conlee was on the radio singing “Rose Colored Glasses.”
It was the worst day ever. I can close my eyes and recall the whole scene. It had been a bad week. A dark year. And it got dimmer.
A car ahead of me slammed its brakes. The tailpipe came toward me so fast I didn’t have time to say: “Holy Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!”
The crash was loud. I blacked out.
When I awoke, I was lying in the median. Paramedics were around me. I couldn’t remember my name. I was out of it.
“You’re gonna be okay,” the EMT said. “You’re just in shock. And look on the bright side, kid, at least you didn’t poop your pants.”
Thank God for small blessings.
They rushed me to the ER. No broken bones. Only bruises. A doctor shined a light in my eyes and inspected my neurological reactions.
He was a white-haired man who said, “Say your ABCs backward for me, son.”
I closed my eyes and said,
“‘Your ABCs backward, son.’”
A good laugh was had by all—except the doctor, who charged an extra fourteen hundred bucks for laughter.
That night, I sat on the sofa with bruised ribs. The medication my wife had given me made me loopy, I was starting to see things. Julia Child, for instance, was on television, descaling a fish and I seriously believed she was trying to assault me with Japanese cutlery.
My truck was totaled. My face was beaten up. My collarbone and ribs hurt.
It truly was the worst day ever. And I’d just come off the heels of what had been the worst month ever. Weeks earlier, my longtime dream of becoming a writer had been squashed—I’d been rejected from an academic writing program.
AND: I had been turned down from a job I’d wanted.