The other day I was up early and I can’t remember why.
Oh no wait.
I was up early to bring Gronk* down to the car place to have the tires rotated and other car stuff that I wasn’t excited about (I was excited, however, that they would wash it and vacuum it before they gave it back to me).
I’d had one half of one cup of coffee by the time I was climbing into the truck and heading down Landing Road to route 27, which would take me over the bridge onto the mainland and then I would be on my way (for whatever reason, I am not ‘on my way’ anywhere until I cross the bridge).
At the end of Landing Road I dutifully hit my directional lever and looked both ways and no one was in either place so we pushed forward and, when I was about half way into the main road (it isn’t that big, people), a black Volvo SUV came flying around the corner about 125 (or 135, or even 150, or… (I’m bad at distances)) yards to my right.
The thing is, Landing Road actually comes onto Route 27 on a curve.
Like, when if I gave you directions, I’d say something like “… stay to the right on 27 for about a quarter-mile and, just as the road is starting to curve, take a right onto Landing Road.”
Well there is also a curve about 125/135/150 yards past Landing Road as well.
It’s not fraught with peril or anything, and you have plenty of time to enter and exit.
Well, except when someone comes hurtling around one of the curves.
Because of the hurtling.
You know how sometimes you pull out onto a road and someone is far away but speeding, and they see you pulling out… and you have plenty of room… buuuuuut it seems crucial to them to make the point that they would have preferred you leaving the road clear… like, for them?
Well that is what that black Volvo did.
I was half way out into the road when she rounded that corner, going about 60 in a 40, and she did not seem to slow down at all until she was right up on Gronk’s bumper.
I turned down the music because, for some reason, this is what I do when there is something to pay attention to that doesn’t require my ears.
For about a quarter-mile, she was right on my bumper. I ought to note that Route 27 is not a big-deal route or anything. It’s just a regular sized road with some lines on it that has opted for a number-name rather than a name-name so it sounds way more important.
Anyway, at about that quarter-mile point, I decided to pull over and let the Volvo go by me. So I did.
And she sped around the next corner and over the bridge and was out of sight.
So I turned up the jazz.
Later on in the afternoon, having driven home in my then blissfully clean and vacuumed out Gronk, I was telling JoHn about my experience with the Volvo and laughing that it was kind of ironic that I eventually ended up right behind it for about 8 miles because she had to stop at the construction going in the center and then we both got caught behind a rather big and slow truck.
He laughed about the karmic nature of it all and eventually got around to commenting that he hated tailgaters and I must have been so frustrated to have pulled over and let her by.
I said ‘Nope’.
He tried to clarify with, ‘What?’
I said ‘Nope’ again.
And he asked, ‘Why?’
“Because…” I said,
“What if she was trying to get to the hospital?”
He paused, then nodded.
We’ve been that car.
Speeding through the streets, coming up on people quickly… slowing at each red light but then going through if no one was coming the other way.
‘Terrible driving’, I’m sure people thought.
‘What an asshole’, I’m sure people said.
I remember someone was furious with us – and followed us for that entire last mile, right on our bumper with his high beam on, making it hard for us to see.
As we were doing everything we could do to get our boy, who was seizing the entire way, to the emergency room door.
Every single time someone flies up on my bumper, clearly anxious to get by me, I think of those moments in the car. John in the front, me in the back bent over my unconscious son… not being able to tell if he was still breathing.
And I pull over.
I figure if one in a bazillion people who do that are headed to the hospital, it’s worth it.
Totally, 100%, worth it.
Thanks for readin’.
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*Gronk is my beloved truck. He’s big and strong but also lots of fun, just like his namesake.