I am so embarrassed about this, I can’t believe I’m admitting in such a public forum, but I feel compelled to admit—to confess—that I ran a red light Friday.
I’m not talking about scooting through when the orange light has just turned. And I’m not talking about easing into an intersection in the middle of the night when there’s no other traffic anywhere in sight.
I’m talking about 35 miles per hour idiocy.
I have no excuse.
Thank God the truck driver who had already entered the intersection slammed on his brakes. Thank God the sedan half-way through the intersection stomped on the gas to get out of my way.
And double thank God nobody was coming from the right.
I slammed on my brakes, but saw that I couldn’t possibly stop in time to prevent myself from ramming the front right fender of the truck, so I veered to the right and swerved around in front of the truck, just missing the back end of that speeding-up car.
I made it all the way through the intersection without killing anybody, myself included.
I would have pulled to the side of the road and collapsed, but there wasn’t a shoulder to pull onto. So I drove on, made it to my lunch meeting with my editor on time, and managed not to choke on all the what-if statements that zoomed through my head.
I’ve always prided myself on being a careful, defensive driver. I’ve never, to my knowledge, caused a wreck.
And still, in those few moments of inattention—whatever was I thinking?—I could have murdered someone. You see, I do believe that the person at fault in a fatal car crash has committed murder. The fact that it is without intent simply doesn’t excuse the one who is to blame.
So please, please drive carefully. You never know when you might blunder into the path of a driver like me.