Have you ever heard that ubiquitous, hugely alarmist saying, “Most car accidents happen close to home?” I have always thought it was an unnecessarily creepy old wives’ tale. Until this morning, when I experienced it first-hand, falling victim to yet another terrible cliche (cliche #1: being a rudderless, crazy 20-something, albeit without the funds and well-connected friends of Girls creator Lena Dunham): I was in a car accident exactly one mile from my house this morning. I know this because I Google-Mapped it when I got home.
I had made it precisely 5,280 feet into my morning commute when a guy in a low truck with a huge steel grate bumper merged into my lane without noticing I was in it first. I have only been in one major accident before and that accident was my fault (I rear-ended someone in traffic on an L.A. freeway – cliche #3). I felt really guilty and stupid about that accident, but the pain was lessened because the only car that suffered damage was my own.
I always thought that not being at fault in a crash would be the better end of the deal. However, I learned today that that might only be true if the person who hits you is also the only person whose car is wrecked. As it was, I was minding my own business and someone else destroyed the front bumper of my car while incurring no damage to his own vehicle. That’s annoying and upsetting and lots of other mild descriptors, but it’s also scary.
Physically, I am totally fine. The front of my car is a bit of a mess (as there were two points of impact: the bed of the guy’s truck on my left front bumper and the curb the force of the collision pushed the right side of my car into), but my body is okay, because the accident happened on a side street at relatively slow speeds. Unfortunately, emotionally, I’m being a drama queen. Driving in a city like Los Angeles means that I’ve had a lot of close calls – people pulling out in front of me illegally at intersections, people cutting me off at a million miles an hour without realizing that person in front of me is only going 65, people turning on red lights, etc. They’ve only just been close calls. Now that one of these interactions didn’t just end with a horn blast and an aggravating story to tell my husband, I don’t want to go anywhere.
Los Angeles, you are crazy and I want no part of it.
I’ll leave you with a text exchange I had with Fertile Myrtle this afternoon:
Can you guess who is who?