Tag Archives: near death experience

It Would Have Been a Metal Sandwich

I’ve been operating a piece of heavy machinery for transportation since 1997.  As the years have shimmied by and I directly or indirectly observe and experience the myriad near-accidents that can happen due to other drivers, animals, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians, I have adjusted how I come to a stop at intersections, how many times I check the rearview and side mirrors, how much room to leave between myself and other cars (while moving and stopped), and I now fully comprehend that it’s better to be predictable than nice on the roadways.

I might go as far as positing that I’ve been consciously extra vigilant this year when driving on account of the number of cars on the street but also because it’s so much easier to notice how many people are shamelessly looking at their phones while driving (at least 55 mph on the highway) or are unable to make up their minds if they’re turning now or much later.  I didn’t wake up thinking, “Oh, today might just be the day that I have near-certain death experience numero quatre!”  No, I woke up today wishing I’d woken up an hour earlier and contemplating if I was going to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond before or after meeting up with a friend.

And then I got onto the highway and had near-certain death experience numero quatre.  It happened on 85 N between the Shallowford on-ramp onto the highway and the Chamblee-Tucker exit.  I was in the far right lane and assessing the speeds of the two SUVs on the on-ramp that were traveling nearly parallel to me.  I figured the white Lexus SUV in the rear would slow down to merge behind me or accelerate enough to get in front of me by the time the on-ramp and far right lanes merged…but alas, that is not what happened.

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As soon as I realized that the white Lexus SUV was not paying attention to its surroundings, I checked my left-side blindspot and determined that I would be able to get into the left lane, which I did.  Immediately thereafter, a Ford Focus with a California license plate came barreling at me.  I cannot account for why he didn’t plow into me.  He was driving so fast….like he was chasing down Felicity Porter on her way to NYC because she has a crush on Ben, a guy who signed her yearbook and talked to her one time, and if Mr. Ford Focus didn’t catch up to her, he’d never see her again.

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By the time I’d changed into the left lane that white SUV was where my car was in the right lane — I could have been in a metal sandwich but for the exact speeds that Mr. Ford Focus and I were going.  I was anticipating certain destruction in that moment…but it did not come to pass.  Did my heartbeat increase? No.  Did I get sweaty?  No.  Did my adrenaline levels rise?  No.  I was more annoyed than anything because as much as I’ve made peace with my death, whenever it occurs, and I have zero interest or need in living a long life, I absolutely did not want to go down in a pile of tires and windshields on 85 N.

Pas du tout.  I envision my death to transpire in a considerably more peculiar manner, where people cannot believe what they are seeing.  Par exemple, some primordial scream tears through my physicality, I vomit up some nephilim creature, my body jolts up into the sky, and then it bursts into a million shards of crystalline mitochondria.

I was also very much looking forward to catching up with my friend, whom I hadn’t seen since January 2020, and if I ended up ensnared in car parts, she’d have no way of knowing where I was and why I wasn’t responding to her texts.  Once again, the universe proves me wrong…I would care how and when death came for me.  Being okay with the premise doesn’t mean one is as indiscriminately welcoming of its actualization.

Read about the other near-death experiences here and here.

I don’t Know What to Say

Yet, I know what to type.

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For over a week, I’ve wanted to go to the Barnes & Noble that is just past Little Five Points, but every day, something prevented me from fulfilling my desire.  Monday, I had to work late and went to the Buckhead B&N instead.  Tuesday, I could have died.  Wednesday, I went back to the B&N in Buckhead to purchase something that I decided I wanted after all.  Thursday, I went to an office holiday party.  Friday, I watched James Cameron’s bigger-budget-version-of-Delgo-and-FernGully.

Someone didn’t want ming going to the Edgewood B&N.  You may not take stock in this kind of thinking, believing, or assessing, but I do.  The incident from Tuesday is the reason I’m writing this entry.  I left work in time to make it to Edgewood B&N and stay there for up to forty minutes before having to head home.  As I drove down the parking deck, I realized that the back passenger seat window (non-shotgun side) wouldn’t roll down and still wouldn’t go down when I was reaching the West Peachtree intersection on 10th street.  I changed my plans and turned left onto W. Ptree with the intent of going to the Toyota dealership near my house.  When I had gotten to 17th street, though, I tried the window again and it worked.  I didn’t feel like turning back around…so I drove towards Buford Highway.  Very much a windshield wipers experience.

Who can calculate the Physics of That?

Today’s entry is brought to you by near-death experience numero trois!

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I nearly killed myself on the drive home from work this afternoon.  I had looked over at 85 N for about  five seconds while driving 40mph in a tunnel-ish structure; and when I looked back, there was a car, stopped, with its left blinker on approximately five to seven car lengths in front of me.  I looked in the rearview mirror and the right side-view mirror to see if there were any cars behind me (slamming on my brakes would’ve achieved nothing).  There were no cars behind me in the right lane, so I braked enough to slow down to 25 mph, got into the right lane, passed the car, and then got back into the left lane.

Oddly, I didn’t experience any physiological changes.  No heartbeat increase, no breathing increase.  There was just an internal acknowledgment of  “oh shite – check mirrors.”   Had I not returned my gaze to the view in front of me when I did, I’m pretty sure I would’ve plowed right into that little, white car waiting to get into the left lane so it could turn onto Sidney Marcus.  If  I were to survive it, it’d be my fault for any damages to the other car and to the other driver.

I then went to Lenox to take a walk and really wanted a milkshake when I was done.  I went to their newly opened Chick-Fil-A in the food court, but the line was too long.  I decided to go to Borders and ordered a milkshaky beverage.  By the time it was made, however, I was in no mood to consume it.  Yes, I waited a couple minutes longer than I would’ve wanted, given my craving, but it was the sheer amount of ice cream that was scooped which dried up my taste buds’ action.  The serving of ice cream for that medium drink could’ve easily substituted a three-course meal.  When it was finally ready, I took a lick/bite of the top and decided there was no way I was going to consume all, half, or even a third of it.

Moving to the title of this post, I’ve had close-calls before in terms of avoiding collisions, where there would just be car damage (fender, hood, doors).  Today’s event, however, brought me some fifteen seconds away from driving 40mph into a non-moving car.  Who can calculate the Force with which I would’ve hit that car?  Anyone?

I took a few good self-portraits by the Noel tree when I got home.

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~!~ Read about near-death experience deux and un. ~!~