That is about the only good thing I can say about my Thursday night.  Leaving the Community College Town in what can charitably be described as whiteout conditions I made it all the way to the first major city before I slid into the guardrail.  I managed to bang up the passenger side front quarter-panel and bang up the bumper.  Oh well, it was slick and lousy out, and my Uncle owns a car fixing shop.  If any one knows me they know I’m not huge on cosmetics so I can deal with a busted looking vehicle.  When I passed through Major Western City I really managed to screw up my truck when I got into what I can only guess was black ice.

Just last week I had a discussion with a few friends of mine about how the human brain deals with stress.  We we talking about gunfights, I’ve never been in one, but I have been in a couple of vehicle accidents.  The phenomenon is called tachypsychia when everything seems to slow down.  I experienced it when my truck started to slide out from under me, it seemed like I had gone from driving on a road to driving on a hockey rink.

I felt the rear begin to slide out to the left.  I attempted to counter-steer and momentarily regained control.  I immediately lost it again.  I knew that there was no way I was going to get it back.  I looked at the speedometer, 54 mph.  I reached over the wheel with my left hand and turned on the emergency flasher.  I then used my right hand to turn off the radio and the heater.  ( I’m still not sure why I thought the heater would be important.)   I checked the wheel one more time noticing that I was now moving pretty much perpendicular to my original direction of travel.  Nothing I was going to be able to do about it now so I put my hands in my lap and took a deep zazen breath.

The impact was in damn near the same spot that I managed to hit earlier in the night.  I rebounded off of the guardrail and noticed that I had broken the headlight as I recrossed the rumble bars as I went back across the road.  The snow on the road had limited my vision to pretty well a cocoon of white. I felt the rear wheels hit the rumble bars on the other side of the interstate and I was hoping that the ditch wasn’t going to provide traction to the wheels or else I was going to roll.  Thankfully, it didn’t.  I felt the truck shut off as it smashed into the guardrail at the passenger-side taillights.   I had come to a stop with all of the dash alarm lights lit and beeping.  I turned the key and the truck fired up imediately.  I limped it another mile down the road to a truck stop and called the cavalry.

I limped my busted truck about ten miles to a Motel 6.  They left the light on for me.  The cavalry came in the morning.