Two days ago, my husband and I came within inches of being broadsided by a car who ran a red light. It happened just down the street, at the intersection of Northwest 8th and Walker, within easy walking distance of our house. It’s ironic that I’m always more alert for driving mishaps on the freeway; but when I let down my protective guard so close to home, we almost get nailed in the crossroads of a sleepy intersection.
I never saw the car coming until it zoomed in front of the nose of our car. Had we been a second earlier, had the other driver been a second later, had my husband not seen the car coming, had my husband not had such quick reflexes, had our car’s brakes not been so darn good, had the other car not been flying through the intersection so fast, well…. life would be very different. How different I do not know. But this I do know: I never saw the car coming until our car had screeched to a complete stop and the red car blurred across my vision. It was over in seconds. I didn’t even have time to be scared. The driver of the other car didn’t slow until half way up the next block.
Coming into the intersection, I had been chattering about something I can longer remember. Leaving the intersection, I had no more words. My husband and I didn’t bother to replay the scene on the way home, or anytime before bed or even yesterday or today; we had no desire to dissect it in post-mortem; instead, my husband voiced his thanks for good brakes, while I voiced thanks for a good driver.
Words become inconsequential when encountering eternity. Maybe this is why we stumble for words when we visit family or friends who have recently lost a loved one; or why earlier this year, I just kept silent when viewing the Grand Canyon; I wrote then to utter words would merely have been profane. Driving away unscathed from the intersection Sunday night was something akin to being around death or gazing upon natural wonders. Both rob you of words.
What else can I tell about this? To write anymore will shrink the experience. Words fail me mightily.