This happened today, as of 2 o'clock CST.

I quit my job, pizza delivery, last week. Why? Well, because it looks like I'll probably get a web design gig that pays $7,000 this coming Monday, that's why. I mean, why schlep pizzas around in a beat-up car when I can sit in front of a computer and do what I love for much better money? So, anyway... I quit my job last week and have since made some pretty decent repairs to my car. Unfortunately, those repairs ate up the last of my emergency fund money and this morning I woke up with less than $20 to my name. But providence provided and payday was here! It wasn't going to be enough to pay rent, but it'd put food in my stomach and I could probably hold off on rent until this web design job got solidified and paid.

So I puttered around, wrote some nodes on Everything, did the dishes (2 loads) and when 1:30 rolled around I got into my car, destination: McDonald's for a Filet-o-Fish and then to Domino's to get my final paycheck. Whee!! I got to Mickey-D's and ate my 1-sandwich meal by 1:45. I was headed down Highway 109-South in the normal lunch-hour traffic. Portland, Tennessee is tiny. I mean, tiny. Ten cars on the road can constitute a traffic jam- that's how tiny this town is. So things were slow-going. No big whoop, I had loads of time. Take it nice and easy and don't rush- you'd like to avoid an accident, wouldn't you? Yes, certainly I would. But if I was in one, it's a damn good thing the vehicle behind me is an ambulance, isn't it? Don't make jokes like that, buddy boy, they aren't funny. Ironic, but not funny.

I passed the bank that I'd be cashing my final check at when, lo-and-behold!, a car zips out in front of me. A few things go through my mind as I stomp on my brake pedal:

You know, this car's a piece of shit. Don't put so much pressure on the brake. It's obviously their fault since you have the right of way. Wreck this old clunker and let them buy you a new car. Besides, you do have that ambulance behind you.
Oh, shit. The people in that car you're about to hit are senior citizens. That's bad! You can't hurt old people. It's rude. If they were younger or easily not smarter, by all means, give 'em hell, but you can't let old people get hurt when it's unnecessary. HIT THE BRAKES WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT!!!! TURN THE WHEEL!!!


Awwwww.... fuck!

I sat there, in my car and at a complete stop, wishing desperately for a cigarette. The shakes hadn't started, I didn't hit them hard, I did stomp on my brakes as hard as I could, it was their fault, there wasn't any blood, traffic was going smoothly by, no broken glass that I could see, no heart attacks... good. This wasn't a serious situation.

The paramedics got out of the ambulance and started asking if everyone was okay. We all nodded affirmatively that we were fine, nothing wrong.... yet. Someone asked if they had a phone with them. I did. I have a web design firm, of course I have a cell phone with me at all times. I am, after all, a techie. I called 911 and they routed me through to the local fuzz, answered some minor questions about location and potential injuries and they told me they'd send someone to the scene immediately. I still wanted a cigarette, but, dammit, the only pack I had on me was brand new and I was shaking too much (from the stress, anger and cold- it was about 30 degrees out there) to even try to unwrap the celophane. As luck would have it, the small size of Portland worked in my favor.

I mean, how often is it that you have an accident and there's an ambulance and a cop on the scene within seconds? A cop was driving out of city hall and instructed us to move our cars off the main road and into a parking lot. Was my car driveable? "Well, I guess we're about to find out." It was.

We waited for the accident investigation officer to do his thing for about 20 minutes while we stood outside in that damn parking lot. Here's some other things that went through my mind while we waited:

Isn't this just too fucking ironic? You don't deliver pizzas anymore, which is an occupation where this is a definite possibility, and yet here you are. What's more is that you were thinking about this just before it happened. Too fucking weird, man.
Well, you're calm enough now. Want to try to open that pack of smokes? I need it now. Aye, aye, cap'n. Carefully... carefully... that's it... nononono! You're shaking too much! Calm down! Okay.. that's it. Good. Use your fingernail to pry the paper up... whoops... try again. Good! Pull it out.... light it.... ahhhhhhhhhhh. They complain about smoking, but they don't call 'em "smokey treats" for nothing!
You know what? Aphexious, when she got arrested, thought about writing a node dedicated to her experience... this sounds like a good node-worthy experience, too. Think about it.
Will I still be able to drive to Nashville and go to Café Coco? God, I hope so... coffee sounds like a good idea tonight... right after you get to Domino's and pick up your paycheck. Will I get there in time? Yeah, I think so. The cop's gettin' outta his car, asking your opponent questions. Things don't look good for that guy. He just pulled right out in front of you. Blammo! His fault in big, red colors.
That old lady in the passenger seat sure looks old... I hope she doesn't develop any significant problems later on tonight... you know how shock can be sometimes... the pain doesn't hit until later. What about you, Jay? Are you still feeling okay? So far, so good. Just pissed.

Me, the other guy and the cop talked for a few minutes. Yeah, the cop says he'll testify that the other guy was at fault if it comes to a courtroom situation. Thank Heavens! I was pretty sure I was in the clear, but if it's one thing I've learned about old men it's that they're experienced enough to be crafty and dodge the bullet if necessary. I don't wanna ruin the guy, so I won't sue, but I don't wanna be left holding the bag, either. We traded information and went our separate ways.

My car didn't seem to misbehave on the way to Domino's. Got my check, cashed it at the bank and then went home to talk to my insurance agency. Things are moving now... I called my prospective client. I was supposed to hear from them on Tuesday, three days ago, about the account- did I get it or not? They've been in New Orleans since Monday. She still hasn't talked with the owners, get back to her on Monday. *sigh* Okay. Why the fuck not? You've got your paycheck money, so just hold onto your britches until Monday and you can sort out the mess you call your life then. In the meantime, write up this node, take a shower and go to Nashville.

You deserve a break.

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