19 August 2005 - Friday

Dirt, grass, and rubber

My trip home from LETU today took a little longer than I anticipated.

About halfway through the trip, out in the middle of the country, I heard a sudden, loud sound. I had the impression (correct, as it turns out) that something had snapped. Whap- whap- whap- whap- whap went the car. I lost control of the steering; the car careened to the right into the ditch.

Judging by the lack of skid marks, I was off the pavement before I could even hit the brakes. When I hit the brakes, though, I hit them hard. I shouted a short, strident prayer and repeated it. I saw a highway sign and a barbed wire fence flash past; I missed them by a few feet. The car spun 180 degrees, cutting deep tracks in the soft soil. The whole thing must have taken about three seconds.

Among the things that came to mind afterward was the thought of signatures. (A running joke among my friends, since someone else's close call a few years ago, has it that no one is allowed to die without getting the others to sign off on the departure first.)

Aside from some scuffs and slight damage to the bumper, my little car seemed to be unharmed. I couldn't see the tires well; they were embedded in clay and tall grass, but seemed to be intact. Later, however, with the car out of the ditch, it became clear that one of the tires had lost part of its tread. Local automotive professionals diagnosed no other problem. With the tire replaced, the car worked perfectly for the rest of the drive. My mom followed me home in the family van, just to be safe.

As we arrived home, a pretty pink sunset was just dissolving into deep blue night.

| Posted by Wilson at 21:34 Central | TrackBack
| Report submitted to the Life Desk