Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dishalicious Escapes Death Yet Again

Clearly someone 'up there' wants me to live. How many times have I cheated death this year? Well, add one more to the list. Like, a major one.

Friday afternoon Wally and I got in my car and headed north on I-95 to Jacksonville. It was raining, but not too hard, just your typical summer-in-Florida showers. Traffic was stop-and-go the whole way up, and nearly two hours in the car had only brought us as far as Boynton Beach. So I couldn't have been going that fast--if I were at my normal 95-North-to-Jax 80 mph, I'd have been through Palm Beach and almost as far north as Vero Beach by the time that Wally and I nearly bit the dust.

Instead, in one of those blink-of-an-eye, life-changing moments, at 3:18 p.m., Wally and I were huddled in my car amid shattered glass, inflated airbags and brain-rattling chaos. It's hard to remember exactly what happens before hydroplaning 360 degrees on I-95, ending up face forward, parallel to the retention wall next to the carpool/express lane. One moment I was driving in the HOV lane, the next I'd lost control and was spinning and screaming.

The slick roads on the way up had me noticing that each time my 2005 least-expensive-model Mercedes hit a wet patch, the steering shifted a little more than usual. (My parents bought the car used on eBay--that's right, eBay, not my choice--so the alignment was never 100 percent. Leave it to the Nazi nation to require 16-point alignments that never even worked in my case.)

So one moment Wally is sitting on my Tempurpedic pillow on the passenger seat, and the next we're spinning, spinning, spinning. I felt a hard impact, thinking it was the wall. And then I was stopped. There was glass all over the fucking place. The collision caused my legs to come up, so I was sort of sitting with my knees up, scared to move for fear of cutting myself--natch, this was the one day I was wearing a dress instead of loungewear on the Jax drive. My first thought was Wally. He is numero uno, always. He wasn't on the seat anymore. Glass was all over the passsenger side. I was dazed and confused and screaming for him. I didn't see him anywhere and thought he'd flown right through the window. Then, miraculously, my 13-year-old little nugget jumped up from the floor and onto the glass-covered pillow. OMFG. I've never been more relieved in my life. Never. So I'm hysterical, while Wally is just a little confused, sitting on the glass-covered pillow. A man showed up on the passenger side, where the airbags had inflated and the windows had blown out. He asked if I needed him to call 911 and I said yes. Somehow my left Choo had flown out of the car. So now, a woman shows up on the driver's side with the Choo in hand, soaking wet from the disgusting runoff water that was pooled in the gutter b/t my car and the wall.

It was a flurry of activity, and as I tried not to move so as not to cut myself, I was on the phone with mom sobbing, while simultaneously cleaning my minor scrapes and cuts with Wet Ones. (Being such a germaphobe really comes in handy. Seriously.) The police, ambulance and tow-truck arrived very quickly. A paramedic helped me out of my car, took my BP, pulse etc. I was fine. The cop had to go in through the backseat to collect Wally from the front. It was a miracle. Here's what happened, which I only know because the police told me. I suddenly lost control and the truck behind me hit my passenger side, causing the 360 degree turn. I'm thinking that him hitting me and having me spin a full-circle, knocking me into the wall, saved my life. If I'd gottten hit from the other direction, we'd have been roadkill in the middle of oncoming traffic.

When I phoned mom I told her to just get in the car and drive south. Then I told her to call Lynn and tell her what happened, as I knew we weren't far from PB. The towing guy headed to a nearby Moblie station, and the policeman took me and Wally to meet him, so I could get my stuff out. So, the police drop me off at a Mobil gas station.

In my car I had to take the following things out: Tumi suitcase, Vuitton handbag, Bottega tote, Temperpedic pillow (de-glassed), and a yoga mat.

"Can't forget the yoga mat right?," the police officer quipped.

Lynn was actually at the hospital tending to a family matter, so hubby Alan was my savior.

God, I must've looked insane--well-heeled JAP standing outside Mobil in the rain with a schmancy pillow, a lap dog, a yoga mat, two handbags and a suitcase. I was actually in Lake Worth, FL--have you ever noticed how people think you're really strange when you ask them what city you're in?

Anyway, once I heard Alan was coming to collect me, my first sentence to mom after I asked why Lynn was at the hospital was:

"Oh shit. He's coming in the Porsche? Is my luggage going to fit?"

"Ohhh, good question, you're right."

I was ready to part with the yoga mat.

Thank fucking God for family, friends and family friends especially. I don't think that most people can make two phone calls and be rescued from dire straits; I'm so thankful that I am able to do that. I went back to Lynn and Alan's, showered, texted/Facebooked friends to let them know Wally and I were fine, then had a glass of vino with Alan. Mom arrived by 7-ish and we drove home to Jax, arriving around 11:30.

I'm bruised and scraped and my left knee is swollen and my limbs are sore, but I literally am now one of those people who can boast about escaping from a terrible accident with nary a broken fingernail. Jeez, how did I get so lucky? A couple of powerful things have tried to kill me this year and somehow here I am blogging to you guys after spending a day at the beach with all my childhood friends. Tomorrow, assuming there is no rain whatsoever, I will head back to Miami in my rented black Lincoln Town car.

I've learned a couple of things this weekend.
1.) Wally is as much of a survivor as I am now.
2.) Apparently my time on Earth is not up yet, meaning that I am here for a reason and I personally interpret that reason as my will-fucking-be-published memoir.
3.) There is enough room in a Porsche 911 for a Jewess, her lap dog, a suitcase, a yoga mat, a pillow and two handbags.

More later. I need to ice the knee. Lots of xoxoxox's to everyone who called, Facebooked, and texted me right away since I updated my status from the side of the road.