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If only I'd listened to my dad.

If only I'd driven slower.

If only I'd driven faster.

If only I'd taken the alternate route.

If if if...

Last night, January 5, 2001, after I dropped a friend off, I drove home. The roads were slushy, as it had recently snowed and I was driving between 30-35 mph on a road that had a speed limit of 55 mph. As I rounded the bend about a mile from my house, I saw this car approaching from the opposite direction. Its high beams were on, so I flashed mine at it.

Too late I realized that the car was careening towards me. I turned the steering wheel to the right, hoping to avoid the collision. An instant later, I felt the contact as the car smashed into mine. I spun helplessly into the ditch, 90 degrees to the road, the rear of my car sticking out over the road.

I was, very fortunately, unhurt.

As rescue vehicles arrived on the scene, I shivered in the cold. I had left my jacket at home, thinking I'd simply be dropping someone off, then going straight home (Did someone say something about Murphy's Law?).

The other driver, age 20, was arrested for DWI, operating without a license, and the traffic violation of crossing the double yellow line. The accident, according to everyone including myself, was his fault. That son of a bitch. He didn't have to put up with my father's 90-minute screaming/yelling/reprimanding/lecturing onslaught. He didn't have to listen to my father's first words: "I told you so." No, he just got arrested.

And I have to live with the knowledge that I have disappointed my father, simply by not staying inside in snowy weather. Life was going just a little too well, wasn't it?

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