The weather was pretty bad yesterday morning, which made it even harder to leave Gretchen. Dan Long and I had such a great time visiting her in Denver… so much love.
Dan was driving. I was passengering. We were both singing. “No! Sleep! Til Jackson!… Jackson!” Being silly. Being us. We got on I80 in Cheyenne, on an overpass, hit black ice, sliding, started in the right lane, spinning to the left, towards the guardrail on the bridge, I thought we were going over. I thought [really thought] this was it. Dan said calmly, “Hold on”, I said, “Oh my god”, we hit the guardrail, spun around, hit the guardrail on the other side of the bridge. Our car sitting sideways, blocking traffic, finally stopped…
– Are you okay?
– Yeah. Are you okay?
Dan looking over my shoulder, the side facing traffic…
– There’s a car heading straight towards us. Oh no, Rach… We’re about to get hit again. Get ready.
– [not even able to look] No. Please, no.
I just kept facing Dan, looked at him, then closed my eyes. The car barely missed us. She was spinning out of control, but managed to miss us. She pulled over, ran up to our car…
– Oh, I’m so sorry! I’m so glad I didn’t hit you! Are you okay?
I’m so glad she didn’t hit us. I was convinced she was… throughout the whole thing, I was convinced it was dying time. I don’t know why… It was terrifying/weird.
A nice man with a big truck helped move our car to the shoulder with his tow strap.
I called 911… for the first time in my life.
– Is anyone hurt?
– No, I think we’re both okay.
– Are you sure? I hear someone yelling in the background.
– That’s Dan, the driver… He’s okay… We’re just both very upset.
The cop came. Dan went and got in the cop car. I got out of our car…
– Rach! Stay in the car!
– Oh, okay. Yes.
I didn’t know what to do with myself. Just sitting there. Emotion finally caught up with me and flooded the car. I almost died… or so I thought. And where am I? What have I done? Who do I love? Do they know that? Am I happy? I started crying. Loud. Primally. Uncontrollably. I stopped, settled. Still didn’t know what to do with myself. Started cleaning up the car. Coins everywhere. How are there so many loose coins in this car? Two iPods on the floor. Picking up my sunglasses and hat… realizing that they were on my head when we crashed. Cleaning, Dan comes to my door and opens it…
– Are you okay, Rach? Do you want to go get checked out?
– Ummm, no. My chest hurts but I think I’m okay… I’m pretty sure I just got the wind knocked out of me.
– Well, if there’s any question…
– No, no, I’m fine… I promise.
Dan hugged me. I lost it, started crying again.
– I’m so sorry, Rach. I’m glad you’re okay.
– I’m sorry, too. I’m so glad you’re okay, too.
The tow truck came. We loaded up. So cold. Got into the front of the truck. Our tower was a character. At least five teeth missing, but I think that’s on par for Cheyenne. Mean? Mehdunno… We saw a lot of people with missing teeth. He told us about how he was hoping to watch football that day, but we were his forth call. Oh, so sorry we ruined your football plans, Mr. Tow Man. He was very nice, though. A character.
We were all very tight, very close in the front of his truck. Dan was upset, rightfully so, his hands bleeding, scraped, he wasn’t upset about them, I was a bit, heartbreaking, bleeding. We get to the Collision Center, it was closed, it was Sunday. Tow Man unloads the car. He gets back into the truck and helps us figure out weather for the next couple days, rental cars, hotels, etc. Then he looks to Dan and says…
– Hey, you might want to turn your emergency lights off so your battery doesn’t die.
– Oh, yeah… Okay.
Dan and I get out of the truck and start walking towards his car… his poor, totaled car…
I see a small smile find Dan’s face as he looks to his car, then looks to me and says…
– Yeah, because I would hate to have to buy a new battery.
Laughs. Smiles. Light. Friendship. Warmth.
I want that, those things, that part of all this, for you.
I love you all.