Did I just…? A story about getting hit by car.

This is story based on a true one that my friend Chris and I went through a year ago today. Obviously writing a story in hindsight will be slightly exaggerated especially considering the events. However, this story is based upon what I immediately wrote down upon arriving at the hospital which I wanted to do to preserve everything that I had remember about the accident. This is the story from my perspective about how we were hit by a car.


I remember seeing my breath in front of me, rising towards my glasses before it dispersed. Chris and I were walking to our twice a week tradition of pizza, coffee, and writing. His stride was slightly faster than mine, his breathing less heavy. It didn’t help I was glaring down at my feet as we walked. Despite these Doc Marten boots being the most comfortable ones I ever owned they didn’t possess a supernatural ability to give my feet the arch needed to walk long distances. My poor flat feet ached at every step.
I should have been an old hand at lugging my laptop bag around. I did it every day on college campus but it always weighed more than it needed to. A symptom of being over-prepared inherited from my mother’s side of the family.
As we crossed Jefferson Street another pedestrian passed on our left, his eyes focused on us, our eyes returned the favor. Being New Yorkers we were naturally suspicious of each other. I craned my neck behind me to watch the stranger reach the other side of the street before continuing our conversation about President Obama’s reelection. I felt it was a private conversation, and the frigid air of Nesconsett was not a place I wished to have a public debate with an opinionated stranger. It wouldn’t matter in a few seconds.
I faced forward in time to witness the left headlight blinding my sight. Before I knew what was happening my right arm securing the bag was in front of my body bracing for impact.
“Holy shit,” I yelled, using the arm securing my bag against my hip to take first impact. My hand felt like it was trying to catching an object too heavy too be caught, at a speed no reaction time was fast enough for. The car ignored my hand as it pressed into my side where my bag hung as I was pushed clean and hard away from the pathway of the SUV, my glasses and hat flown from my face leaving me practically blind to scan my surroundings. All I heard was the sound of a body hitting the concrete road.
Adrenaline rushed through me as I tried to focus on what had happened. Did I just get hit by a car? At the time, there was no anger at the driver, no concern for injuries I might have sustained even though my hand was now throbbing, and I understood audible words were being said to me from Chris but was unable to respond. I was in shock, my brain could not believe the messages the other parts of my body were trying to tell it. The message read, you were just hit by a car and for an incalculable amount of time I couldn’t give credence to it.  Unable to see, the only other thought I could muster up was Where are my glasses?
I heard the driver getting out of the car. “Oh god, oh fuck, oh shit, are you guys okay?” His throat choking back fear at the realization of what he had just done. His voice sounded young, but I couldn’t be sure of his age. I could see the blurry figure heading towards me, asking me again if I was okay.
“Where are my glasses?” I spurted out, to which the blur frantically searched the ground eventually handing me my hat and glasses. I instinctively put my glasses on, then the hat. He once again asked if I was okay. I looked down at my hand seeing blood fill the surface layer of skin on my thumb, my pinky and ring finger hurt to bend. I just got hit by a car and I didn’t know if I was okay.
“I don’t know,” I told him. While all this was happening, the pedestrian who narrowly escaped getting struck himself was racing over hollering about seeing the whole thing, proceeded by a 9-1-1 call on his cell phone. With my glasses on my face once again, and the shock beginning to wane I took notice that Chris was laid out on the ground in front of the car, asking for me. I was strangely calm as I walked over. I saw no crushed extremities or blood but I couldn’t be sure of anything until I was right over him.
“Oh thank god,” he said. “I heard you yell and thought you were taken under the car.”
“Are you alright?” I asked. He scanned his body from his position laying down. “I think so, I just don’t want to move in case something is actually wrong.” That was quick thinking, it didn’t occur to me not to move but then again I wasn’t thrown to the ground. That fact still surprised me, as did the realization I had at that moment that I was hit by a car and I didn’t fall.  In the distance down Jefferson Street headlights popped on. “That’ll be my dad,” the driver said. I turned to him now, really seeing him for the first time since I put my glasses on. Taking in what he just said, hearing his voice, and finally getting a long look at him I knew he was definitely still in high school.
The father’s SUV headed towards the scene of the accident as the sound of sirens began to reach our ears. Knowing Chris was uninjured, at least as far as both of us knew, I desperately wanted to sit down. Plopping myself down on the nearest curb, I rested my arms on my legs, my face in my hands and just waited there. I can recall looking up at Chris.
“Chris…”
“Yeah?”
“We just got hit by a car…” I said.
“I know. I can’t fucking believe it,” he responded, with a bit of humor in his tone but no laughter.
The driver’s father arrived, followed by the police and the ambulance. The exchange of information was a blur of spoken words, nothing but bare bones facts of the whole scenario. I was able to discern Chris rising from the ground with the help of EMT’s. My hand shook as the police officer handed both our I.D.’s to me, which I instantly dropped unable to grip them in my right hand. The officer either didn’t notice, or apologized because he understood what I was going through.
Chris was on a gurney by the time I approached to return his license. I made the instinctual decision to go to the same hospital as Chris stepping into the ambulance first. As I sat down, the onset of worry began to weigh down on me. A million questions appeared in my mind, of the extent of my injuries, the condition of my laptop and the writing it contained, and the issues of money that came with broken body parts and broken property.

I was hit by a car.
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Spoiled by Digital Music While Traveling

     

     I don’t listen to the radio. I haven’t for years. I got my driver’s license in spring of ’03 and my car stereo with a CD player that Christmas. 
     Then in ’06 my family surprised me with an iPod nano and I quickly looked for a way to get it working in my car. By the time I bought one of those receivers that plugs into the cigarette lighter I had dropped the iPod nano at school, essentially breaking it.
     Come April ’06 I managed to scrap the money together to buy an iPod Video, an iPod would have until it finally crashed and burned in April of 2012.
     In January of 2011 my car was destroyed in a car accident. The car I was given and still drive was not as good as the car I had owned but it had one advantage over my former car. It had a line in. No longer was I bound by shoddy radio signal to pick up my iPod on it nor was I bound by the eighty minute limit of CD’s. 
     In April of 2012 that iPod Video finally stopped working. I went on to replace that with an iPod classic and then replaced my Droid X with an iPhone 4S. In hindsight, I should of replaced my iPod Video with a larger iPhone instead of buying a smaller iPhone 4S and an iPod Classic. I honestly did not think I would love my iPhone as much as I do now.
     This brings us to last week when we discovered my car had a leak of brake fluid and I had to use my father’s car to get around. He had a audiobook in his stereo in the exact spot he left off so I did not want to remove the CD. Instead I pressed the function button to the radio.
     I want to make this clear. Yes, I’ve heard the radio in other people’s cars but in the time since I owned a car, a car stereo, an iPod, and a smart phone I never turn the radio on.
     I also want to make it clear, I’m not stupid, I know how a radio works. I didn’t look at this machine and I think “How do I work this device?” like a luddite. I had in fact, been in the passenger seat for years trying to wrestle control over the radio from my father just as my sister did before me.
     Also, we’re talking about analog radio not any kind of satellite radio. So when I turned the radio on, searching the station for something to listen to I was blown away how terrible it was.
     They just play the same songs over and over again, I thought. Why would anyone choose to listen to the radio when they could play music of their own choosing on so many devices.  Don’t even get me started about the quality. I was better off turning off the radio and just placing my iPhone in a cupholder playing music.
     I did just that. Which led me to conclusions that I’ve been spoiled by digital music. Sure, some people have even better car stereo that have USB slot to plug their devices in but there are probably still people driving around listening to analog radio.
      I’m sure too, that there are great radio stations out there in areas with great reception but it’s not anywhere I live. Some people wanting to hear the same songs over and over again, browsing the stations for their favorite songs. Sometimes too many choices, which digital music can give you, is overwhelming so why not let someone else be in control?
     Think about it. iTunes, Last.FM, Pandora, Amazon… I’m sure there are others I can’t think of right now. For someone like my mother, who has difficulty with technology that can be mindblowing. Turning on the radio? Simple, hasn’t changed in years. I, however, like a choice and quality music while I drive. The Radio is not for me.
     Don’t even get me started with talk radio. Google “top” or “best” with “podcasts” and tell me to listened to talk radio. I’m covered.