Last night was unexpected, as it always is when you go from simple drive home to being in the middle of an accident.
Driving home from grocery shopping. Beautiful early evening. Sun back out after an hour of unexpected Texas rain. Plans to join a friend out for dinner. Less than 2 miles from home on a very familiar road. Another driver makes an illegal turn on my right side. Doesn't look up to see me coming through the intersection. Manage not to t-bone him. Hard swerve to the left as I'm honking. He looks up but doesn't stop. We clip each other. I go up on a curb onto a median, missing a telephone pole by 1 foot. And eventually come to a stop. Get out and make sure his passengers were okay. He has the audacity to ask me to push his car -- yes, push it! -- out of the intersection, and then says, "Hey, buddy, what do you want to do about this?" as if we're gonna just exchange phone numbers and head home. I walk back to my car. Feel a bit beat up and light-headed. Sit tight until the police (et al) arrive. Having to call my wife who is on the other side of the country. Knowing that no matter how much I tell her everything is fine, she won't sleep well...and both of us will immediately begin to think about the little one being in the car with us in just a few months and already becoming even more cautious because of it. And the kicker? Paper tags. No insurance. Amazing how many of these drivers are out on the road and not paying attention. Hopefully my insurance will do the right thing. But looking at the truck this morning, I realize how well the Pathfinder held up to the hit considering what a few feet either way could have been. Axle looks pretty screwed up; panel work is always over-priced; not possible to drive without major work. Assume it'll get totaled. Probably have to go to court on the other guy at some point.
This morning was simply meant to be a matter of calling my car insurance guys, taking some ibuprofen (forget the hard-core stuff found in the doctor's script), and beginning to think through the stress of getting a new car. But what has caught my eye -- and changed my entire outlook this morning -- was a YouTube video of a guy named Matt goofy-dancing himself around the world. Can't quite tell you what it is about his dancing, about seeing him dance in a couldn't-care-less sort of way in some of the most glorious and intriguing spots in the world, about the utter simplicity of it, about the joy in his goofy dance step and face...but it made me smile on a morning where my body seems a more beat up than normal. Check out the "Where the Hell is Matt?" site to get the full story.
Their joy is just as infectuous as anything I've seen in a long, long time...and in spite of insane living conditions, the smiles and energy these kids show demonstrate the best we humans have.
A car is hardly worth stressing over. Matt reminded me of that this morning. And these kids got me smiling. Smiling big.
Note: Thanks to Robert's post about Matt's goofy dance journey. Timing couldn't have been better!