I took the curve in front of the grocery too fast.
My mind was elsewhere, full of the daily hubbub, the usual go-here-go-there-are-we-getting-low-on-that that runs as background most busy days.
So I pulled out too fast. And stared, incredulously, as a telephone pole (was that there before?) was suddenly in my way, filling my vision.
I swallowed hard, feeling the echo of what-could-have-been deep in my chest, the THUD, the disjointedness of the moment, the sudden silence. Air bags? A screech of brakes? WHUMP and a disjointed did-I-do-that?-shit-I-did-that and an overwhelming desire to turn the clock back just a few minutes. The sheepishness of the crumpled car.
It seems the body does remember - I've been in one car crash, and it was 24 (twenty-four???) years ago. This was visceral, deep and automatic.
Swallowing hard, I took my foot off the gas, and turned neatly past the pole.
I will never pull out of the grocery parking lot so quickly again.