On Sunday morning, we took a car and drove to New Westminster to pick up a high chair for Liam (Hooray for Craigslist! The new parent’s best friend!). Anyway, the drive turned into something of a nightmare:
We were stopped at a red light on 6th, at Royal. We were the 2nd, no, maybe 3rd car in line. As we were driving through the intersection, a white pickup truck, coming down Royal, hurtled through the red light RIGHT in front of us. And I really mean right in front. As the truck drove past, we heard & felt it scrape our front bumper. It kept going, not stopping to see if we were ok. We stopped just the other side of the intersection. Apart from having to deal with ICBC and the Car Co-op over insurance, we’re all fine, if a little shaken up.
But since then, everytime I close my eyes, I keep replaying that moment in my head. My dreams last night were just wretched. They were “out-of-body” dreams, where I was a bystander replaying this scene over and over. Only there slight differences. The car, a Focus Station Wagon, had gradient lines marking half-second intervals all along the passenger side. Each time through the dream, the accident gets progressively worse, with a passive, Anthony Hopkins-esue voice calml telling me “0.5 seconds. Truck impacts front wheel well. Major stuctural damage, minor injuries. 1.0 seconds. Truck impacts front-passenger door. Leah is killed. Liam severely injured. 1.5 seconds. Rear passenger door. Leah and Liam killed instantly.” And of course some very visceral vizualizations of the same. I must have had this dream a good dozen times Sunday night, and perhaps 10 times last night.
Even during the day, I keep re-thinking that incident, thinking about all the things that contributed to that near-miss. While I’m consciously thankful that it was essentially a non-event, my subconcious is clearly feeling guilt about how close that really was.