Thinking that the tough part of my day was over, I drove out of the parking lot and made my way to the highway that would take me home. It was 5:40pm on a Friday. The roads were packed and the going was slow. I turned on some music and eased along. Ahead of me, I could see the light had turned green. The road inclined in front of me and to the left and ahead at the next light was a large truck entering the highway, I watched it for only a second and turned back to the traffic ahead of me. The car in front of me had braked but I had been unaware due to my truck distraction. Though I had been traveling at about 20 miles per hour, and now only 5 or 10, I was too close to brake in time. But darn if I didn't almost put my foot through the floor
The slant of the road and my braking action brought my front bumper below the rear bumper of the car ahead of me. Through screeching and smoke, my car finally stopped but not until my hood was crunched up. I jumped out of my car to make sure the other driver was ok, "Are you alright? I am so very sorry, are you alright?" The screaming that came back startled me. "Are you a dumb ass??!! What is wrong with you?!! What the hell is the matter with you?!! What do you think you are doing??!!!" I stopped & looked at the elderly man who stood before me and couldn't believe what was happening. "Sir, I am so sorry."
Again, "What the hell is wrong with you??!!!"
I apologized once more and in frantic voice explained that it was an accident and that I would never hit him on purpose. "This is a brand new car. Are you an idiot?
" At this point I suggested that we pull off the busy highway and exchange information. "Oh.., you'll give
information." I started to shake as I got back behind the wheel of my car that was still running. How, I will never
know, because that was the last time that engine purred. As I surveyed the damage, I was relieved to see, what looked like, only minimal damage to his bumper, but fluids poured out of my car and I knew it would require towing.
I looked back to the back of the other car and saw the B enclosed by a sideways oval and realized the make. In disbelief, the words formed on my lips, "Oh my God, Is this a Bentley?" "YES, it's a Bentley, you idiot! It's a 2011Bentley!!!"
The apologies started again. He had me so shaken that I couldn't find my insurance cards and then, of course, came the barrage, "Do you know it's against the law
to drive without insurance cards??!!" Thank God for the smart phone that held my insurance company's phone number and I was able to call and get my policy information to pass along. He grabbed the phone out of my hand to speak to the representative. Needless to say, I was shook up. The events of the previous fifteen minutes beginning, with the rude yoga mat girl collapsed around me almost all at once. I couldn't stop shaking and the tears flowed though I didn't even know I was crying. And I was cold. I was so very cold. I went into shock.
When does compassion leave a human? Is it when life or personal belongings are threatened? The incredible rudeness I encountered coupled with a quick smash-up plus the realization of the magnitude of the cost of this particular incident crashed upon me; I succumbed. And the humanity I needed was nowhere to be found. No one stopped to help me.
I was alone and I knew it. But it was through my aloneness that I saw how to never behave. Like never knowing pain, how can one possibly understand true joy? The tender, raw underbelly of Rayanne "the guy"
was exposed and thus, changed. Humane behavior should not only be available to unwanted animals or those confined to prison camps. It should be found in parking lots where cars won't start and on highways where accidents occur.
I now keep mine in my heart where it is quickly accessible.