My latest death

4 Jan

So my car got towed yesterday. I could offer a lot of reasons why it shouldn’t have been, but ultimately, it’s my fault. The tow and ticket cost $150. We don’t exactly earn income hand over fist, so this was tough on us financially. I think the staff in the towing office were surprised at my politeness. I even said ‘thank you’ as I left the office (someone in the rear of the office said “what?!”, but I don’t know if that was related to incredulity at my civility or something else).

In order to turn around and got the direction I wanted easily, after leaving the tow yard, I had to turn into a side street that ended at a river. It required a three point turn. While backing up, the riverside crumbled under my back tires. The van lurched backwards, and my heart up into my throat. It took me a few seconds to even realize what was happening. Then panic kicked in. First I jammed on the gas pedal, which only seemed to slow my rearward descent on the icy riverbank, rather than actually propel me forward. Suddenly the van got traction and shot forward. But that increased my velocity when I hit ice and went backwards again. The rear axle cracked through the ice, and in I went. I could feel the air in the car chill instantly.

Somehow, I remembered to try to open the windows. If you’re going to sink, the pressure equalizes, and you can’t open the doors. After realizing I was jamming the door lock button, I tried the right buttons. Openopenopendammitopen!  But the van is grumpy at the best of times, and the windows are electronic. The passenger window opened a crack, the driver’s side not at all. The rear windows are vents. I tried the doors… nothing. I glid out into the Red River, then sunk, a bathysphere of icewater death exploration… I thought of my family, my daughters growing up without their mother there for them… if my husband could handle the grief.

Then I realized it was a green light, and I turned right down Higgins.


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