I sit and look around. I’m still in slow motion, heart racing. I see a woman. She doesn’t seem to have noticed that anything happened. A car drives by, its driver oblivious. My hands are shaking slightly and I pull over, hazards on.
I take a deep breath in, allow my eyes to close for a moment, breathe out.
I lived in a slow motion moment. I drove down the street, watchful but relaxed. Listening to Hamilton, almost home. Suddenly, a van cut across the street directly in front of me. (They made the word suddenly specifically for situations like this, I think.)
I slammed the brake and watched as my car still got closer to the van as the van continued across the street. I braced for impact, eyes squinted. I hoped I wouldn’t hit the van too hard, I pressed the brake. The van kept going, I kept going. Shouldn’t brakes work faster than this? My hands gripped the steering wheel, and I wondered if maybe I would just scrape the back of the van.
And then it was over. The van went on its merry way, and I watched as cars passed all around me, unconcerned.
Now safely pulled over, I call Mr. Thought.
“I’m okay,” I start, because I am.