“But no matter how much planning you do, one tiny miscalculation, one moment of distraction, can end it all in an instant.” Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses
I never make new year’s resolutions, don’t believe in them. All my life I’ve listened to people say they were going to do this or that in the new year and most of the time they never do. I believe in living my life everyday, it’s that simple. I don’t live in the past, I try hard not to live in the future and I try equally hard to stay in the present.
I ended last year with severe back pain and started the new year with the same back pain. I’ve been slowly getting myself back into the gym, walking, running and playing hockey. The other night I decided to see if I could run, I couldn’t run without some pain, so I took it slowly walking a bit, power walking a short distance and then walking again. Every day I walk my dog, Kaos, at least twice a day. He is a beauty and Kaos is my solid companion when I’m walking and running. He was with me that night when the two of us innocently stepped into a crosswalk without the slightest inclination how that simple act could lead to a life turning event.
It was dark and I’m always careful crossing any street in the dark, we were on a busy street but the cross street was quiet and not many cars turn into that area. There were no cars in sight when I stepped into the lit cross walk but halfway across the street I noticed a vehicle turning left and the vehicle appeared to be turning slowly towards me giving me the space I needed to cross with the dog. I was in front of the vehicle when the driver stepped on the gas and crashed into me and the dog. I managed to jump out of the way in the nick of time but I realized at that point that Kaos was behind me and there was nothing I could do to protect him. I instintively let go of his leash hoping he’d drop and roll with the force of the vehicle. As the suv hit Kaos, the terrible sound of a body hitting a car echoed in the darkness, I still shudder when I think of that thud as the vehicle rolled over him.
Miraculously, Kaos managed to free himself and came shooting out from under the truck and ran down the street. He was completely spooked, so I dropped to the ground and remained calm as I quietly called him back. It took me a good 15 minutes to get him back and he was terrified. Meanwhile the truck drove by where I was sitting and parked in an adjacent church parking lot. My initial thought was that he was getting himself together and then coming over to make sure I was ok. How wrong I was, he never got out of his car.
I checked Kaos over thoroughly and he seemed good, no broken bones not even a scratch. I then headed to the man’s truck. As I was walking toward his vehicle he looked my way and mouthed “fuck” as he furiously texted on his phone. As I approached his side of the vehicle, he was already rolling down his window. He stared at me for a few seconds and I said to him “the dog is fine, I’m fine but I’m floored you never got out of your car to check and see if we were ok.” He looked at me straight in the eye and said in a very withdrawn tone “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I said “you just about ran me over and you hit my dog.” The man then says “I didn’t see a dog, ” and then he says ” I came from the other way.” If he didn’t know what I was talking about then how did he know which way I was coming from? He was denying it but he wasn’t, every time he said something he was digging his own grave. I was talking to him calmly because I was happy that both the dog and I were ok. I said to him, “look I’m just happy the dog and I are ok and I’m not looking to report you because shit happens, but I have to admit it upsets me that you are denying your part in this.” Again in a submissive tone he says to me “I’m here to pick up my daughter, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I look over at the church where he’s parked way over at the back of the parking lot, parallel to the location of the accident, where I was sitting on the ground calming the dog and his vehicle was the only car in the parking lot. I said, “there’s no one in the building, it was you, you are the one who hit me, it was this vehicle, you are the guy.” He continued to deny it and I said to him, “I know it was you because right now you are shitting your pants, I can feel the fear radiating from your body.” I was completely bewildered that he would continue to deny his actions.
I decided to leave the situation behind as there were no witnesses and to be honest if the police said to me did you see the make of the car, or the person driving, I would have to say no because after the accident I was so focused on getting Kaos back and calming him down. I was not directly focused on the driver or the car, I just instinctively knew it was him who drove by me slowly and parked in the church parking lot watching him from my peripheral vision as I was calming Kaos. Before I walked from the scene, I looked at the man straight in the eyes and stared at him for a long time making him very uncomfortable and I said, “I’m going to leave you in your thoughts and I suggest you go home and examine your conscious because you are the poorest excuse for a human being I’ve ever met.” As I walked out of the parking lot, I ducked behind a row of trees planted at the edge of the property and within seconds the man started his car and slowly drove out of the parking lot not waiting for his daughter!
It took me a long time to get Kaos home as he was dropping to the ground every time a car came any where near us or made a loud noise driving by and each time I stopped to console him and assured him it was ok. Each time I thought of the driver and the reasons why he denied; was he in shock, did he have some kind of record, was he scared or could he simply not admit to his mistake. The incident renewed my simple philosophy of living for today and not living in the past, or the future. The time is now to connect with your love ones, live healthy and stay true to yourself. You just never know when a miscalculation, a moment of distraction or an error will be your last thought. I hope the experience wasn’t lost on the man driving, I hope he is living his life more in the moment and not lost in his phone or thoughts while driving.