(full of mistakes – I’ll correct them later)
If fate is a collision of unavoidable circumstances sat on a time line of consistent actions, then I was well and truly ‘fated’.
‘hi Judi, how you doing?’
‘good, how are you?’
‘I’m not doing so good’
I was stood in the rain, real rain that needed a heavy coat (which I didn’t have) and pelted me with bullets of thudding water like they were sent with a purpose towards people that had done something wrong: I hadn’t. My hood was up, and the side of my face was sporting a fetching Nokia 6300 phone, I was in the middle of ”gawd-knows-where’ just outside ‘no-idea’ standing next to a dark blue Porsche Boxster, in the middle of the road facing oncoming traffic.
30mins earlier I was sat on a train that had been delayed – reading. Quite happy too. Apart from the pregnant woman opposite me that look like she was about to squat and calf at any minute, uncomfortably squeezed in between several bags of groceries, a mountain bike, and a black friend/boyfriend/whatever that could speak English, but couldn’t read a word of it. I know this because pregnant woman was holding a copy of Nuts Magazine, reciting an article at great ‘passenger annoying’ volume of a motorcycle / car crash description of a guy that pretty much lost his leg – plus all the glorious mental imagery that causes people to faint in public. She projected her voice well, I wondered if she’d ever worked on a fruit market stall, and if not, she should seriously consider it, and she was unstoppable. Christ, she was unstoppable. If it had been anyone else, someone on the train would have said something along the lines of ‘can you lower the volume a little bit please?’… However she was clearly pregnant, clearly annoyed at the train delay we were all stuck in, and had a face like Fat Satan coming 2nd in a ‘Fat Satan looky–likey contest’.
‘I’m going to be late for that meeting Judi, sorry’
‘are you OK?’
‘yeah I’m fine, I’m wet, but I’m all good’
‘you should call an ambulance’
‘I dunno’ I glance behind me ‘he seems to be ok’
Once I’d got to my car, it was auto pilot as usual – I joined the queues, set my guidance system on the tail lights in front of me and fell asleep at the wheel. Hypnotised by the windscreen wipers, measuring the rain fall outside, by the angle of the wiper stick. It was at 1 o’clock. That’s not good. That’s no wiping, that’s hyper-drive.
The water on the roads was pretty grim too, big puddles both sides of the road, meant cars suddenly veered in your direction occasionally to avoid aqua-planing. I don’t know whats worse, loosing control of your steering for a split second, or scaring the crap out of oncoming traffic by swerving into their path. Both have an element of ‘death’ written all over it in uppercase 200pt Helvetica 95 Black. Whichever way you look at it, loosing control of the vehicle is exactly what happened.
‘look people go into shock, they should really go to hospital’
‘well yeah, but he’s OK, I mean he looks OK, he’s walking around and stuff’
I was flying down the b-side of Dundry, its a steep hill and with a tight bend at the bottom, it has an inevitable eerie feel to it even on the driest of days. Throw a couple thousand feet worth of rain cloud down it and you’d think people would ease of the pedal a little.
Porsche’s can stop quick. I’m certain they’re one of the safest vehicles on the road, not only can they accelerate out of trouble, they can brake out of trouble. 10yr old diesels however can not. By the time i’d reached the corner apex, the Porsche was stationary, and I was dropping 12 stone on to the brake and promptly heading towards a hedge skidding. My life flashed before my eyes in the style of hundreds of health and safety pamphlets and driving lesson videos telling me to pump the brakes and steer around the corner. Upon doing this, I regained some control and my steering wrenched me away from the hedge and into the path of the stationary Porsche.
If you had to choose between crashing through a hedge, or into a Porsche, which would you choose? Have a think about that for a second, and get back to me.
I chose the Porsche and I also chose to continue pumping the brakes like hell until something stopped moving, preferably my car, preferably unaided by the rear end of a Porsche Boxster and specifically my wheels.
It was right at this point something miraculous happened.
(I’ve written enough today, I’ll finish this some other time)