Chapters – VIII

C08No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

Unless there were piranhas in the pool, where do you live where no fish are in the water? Sheesh!

***

At the time of this writing, I’m one week removed from an accident that shook me up worse than I thought one would.

Now, I’ve had a few accidents in my years. I rear-ended a car while delivering pizza which screwed up my car’s steering and lost me my job. I also regretted that accident, not because of the ticket or the lost job, but because I really liked my first car. A 1975 Fiat Box (no, that wasn’t the actually model name, but it was basically a boxy car). The car used to cool itself by turning on the fan when I shut off the engine. Confounded a few people.

I’ve backed into a fire hydrant. I hit a deer when I owned my Daytona. That time wasn’t too bad. I tell people my psychic powers came into play because just after I thought the stretch of road I was on would be bad for meeting a deer, the animal came out of the ditch. Damaged my right headlight, but not much else.

I’ve pulled out from a parking place and hit a van. Minor damage was done to my car and nothing to his.

This latest deer accident was the worst in which I’ve been involved. I looked to my right and when I looked back a young doe was already in front of the car. There was no chance of slowing or avoiding it. No, the animal didn’t survive and I think that’s what shocked me the most. Not that I damaged my car or that I might have to call for assistance to get home, but that I’d killed a deer.

I’ve run over a fox, one or two squirrels and a family of raccoons and each of those affected me. I know mankind has intruded upon where animals have reigned and it’s inevitable that we’re going to encounter them with our autos. Sue me, I’m sensitive. I don’t have to like it.

So I pulled over and yes, I’ll admit it, I cried for a bit. Then I assessed the damage to the car, retrieved pieces of the car from the road and checked on the curled up corpse of the deer in the ditch. I told it I was sorry and drove home.

The next evening my friend wondered if I was feeling okay to drive to writers group. I was. I was fine the previous evening. I’d been fine to drive after my other accidents. I try to stay more focused but that’s natural.

Fears. I’ve had some close encounters at times. One evening I drove to announce a basketball game and the roads were slick with ice. I rounded a corner and the front wheel drive of the company car started to pull me off. Mere feet before I would have gone over an embankment into a creek, I recovered. My stomach didn’t return to it’s normal anatomical position for awhile. But driving home, I was okay.

I’ve flown a few times in my life and I’m fine with flying. However, there is one moment when the heart speeds up for a moment or two. I’m always leery of when the plane lands. Part of my mind doesn’t think it’ll be smooth. So much weight coming down on those tires and how much stress and pressure must the landing gear endure.

Fears. We all have them. Share some of yours.

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