I had left church around 1:15, having made my excuses from the 2-year church anniversary party with the rest of the gang. I had wanted to get stuff done - a little editing, a little shopping, a little cleaning and lot of organizing. And I wanted to BE in certain places, despite the traffic.
And the funny thing is, I ended up taking a completely different route from the one I should have taken, just to get back to Decarie. Roads I thought would take me there didn't, so I ended up taking a couple of detours to get where I wanted to go.
I was driving along, minding my own business, when I realized that, as I was going through the intersection, I would have to stop IN the intersection - and stop very abruptly. So, I held on and came to a quick but safe stop - not even so quick that my tires screeched or anything. It was just one of those stops that makes the engine go down and the back end go up, until you come to a complete stop and everything settles back down again.
And then, as I usually do under these circumstances, I looked in the rear view mirror.
I had just enough time to think - simultaneously: "Oh no!" "Oh crap!" "Here we go!" "Why me?" "What am I supposed to do again?" "This should teach me to be more patient," "This is gonna hurt," and "I shoulda gone to the party with everybody else."
Followed by BANG.
I was the monkey in the middle.
My first accident in Montreal, and there was absolutely NO possible way I could have avoided it. I didn't know what to do, I didn't know if we should call the police, I didn't know if I was going to have to do everything in French...
Three cars, three drivers, and a surprisingly tame flow of traffic! Cars simply sat in the intersection, waiting for the three of us to pull off to the other side - and it took me a few long seconds to realize that's what they were waiting for me to do. But no one honked horns, not one gave us the finger...on the other side, no one stuck around as witnesses, but that was all right, because the police told us they weren't coming, and to just contact our insurance agencies.
The guy in the lead, driving a white Mitsubishi, took the least of the damage. He was able to reach down, brush off some dust transfer and pop the fender back where it belonged. My car's front end was very gentle and apologetic to his rear.
Me, I took damage on the front bumper so that the passenger's side headlight looks like it's bulging out. The back fender took the worse damage. If it wasn't so well jammed, it would look like it's falling down. I have a dent on the passenger's rear quarter panel, too, though I have no idea why. The trunk is dented too, and the license plate is now more bent than ever. But the trunk opens and closes. (And imagine my surprise - I had been headed out to Ikea to buy a laptop tray for writing in bed - and guess what I found in the trunk! I'd forgotten my mother had bought it for me already! It's been in there for a couple of weeks!) And my purse exploded - but fortunately, it was one of the car's rare CLEAN days, so I didn't have too much flying debris.
The guy behind me, though, can barely drive. The front end is smashed in like a broken nose, and it was dribbling coolant all over the road. He wasn't happy, to say the least, because he knew exactly whose fault the accident had been - and he just wanted to go home. But irony of ironies...we'd had our smash-up three doors down from a garage and a manned tow truck.
And I realized: this is my third accident. The first and worst was when Sarah was in the passenger's side and I was t-boned on that side (so hard she actually bounced off and hit again), and that had been a white Sunfire. The second accident was more annoying than anything, and that had been a white Cavalier. This accident involved not one, but TWO white cars. I'm developing a superstition against white cars!
(And realizing this now: scramble the letters of WHITE and you get WE HIT!)
It was a most civilized exchange: we all traded license, insurance and contact information, asked each other if we were okay, and in our own languages and religions, I think we all thanked God there were no injuries.
Well...no grievous injuries. Tomorrow I'll hit the clinic to see whether or not I've really sprained my pinky finger or not, but I somehow doubt it. I can't make a fist and I can't lay my hand flat, but I can type. (But then again, I've walked on sprained joints and typed with broken fingers, so this is no challenge.)
So tomorrow, I'll go to the garage and the clinic, and afterward, go to choir practice as was the plan, and I'll spend a little extra time at the prayer meeting.
I don't think you can walk away from something like this without taking something away with you: last thoughts before the ka-bang, I guess. I was in such a rush to get somewhere today, and I can't even remember why it was such a big deal at the time. It's like the mad impetus to BE somewhere at some specific time was knocked out of my head, and all that remained was a single thought: thank God no one was hurt.